A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Thursday, February 23, 2006

AP: UAE Company Agrees to Delay Ports Takeover

WASHINGTON - A United Arab Emirates company offered Thursday to delay part of its $6.8 billion takeover of most operations at six U.S. ports to give the Bush administration more time to convince skeptical lawmakers the deal poses no security risks.

The surprise announcement relieves some pressure from a standoff between President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, which has threatened to block the deal because of the UAE's purported ties to terrorism.

Under the offer coordinated with the White House, Dubai Ports World said it will agree not to exercise control or influence the management over U.S. ports pending further talks with the Bush administration and Congress. It did not indicate how long it will wait for these discussions to take place.

The company said it will move forward with other parts of the deal affecting the rest of the world.

"It is not only unreasonable but also impractical to suggest that the closing of this entire global transaction should be delayed," Dubai Ports said in a statement.

"The reaction in the United States has occurred in no other country in the world," the company's chief operating officer, Ted Bilkey, said in a statement. "We need to understand the concerns of the people in the U.S. who are worried about this transaction and make sure that they are addressed to the benefit of all parties. Security is everybody's business."