Arab Emirates firm to operate six major U.S. ports
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Monday, February 13, 2006
WASHINGTON � The Bush
administration has approved a deal in which a United Arab
Emirates company would operate six major ports in the United
A U.S. government panel has determined that the UAE firm,
DP World, would not endanger national security.
DP World, based in Dubai, has offered $6.8 billion for the
purchase of a British firm that operates the ports of
Baltimore, Miami, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans and
Philadelphia, Middle East Newsline reported.
DP World intends to acquire the London-based Peninsular and
Oriental Steam Navigation [P&O] Co. The sale was expected to
be approved on Monday.
"The P&O directors have withdrawn their recommendation of
the offer by PSA, which was announced on Jan. 26, 2006, and
unanimously recommend that P&O Stockholders vote in favor of
the revised proposals at the meetings, which are now scheduled
to take place on Feb. 13," DP World said in a statement.
The company said the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment
in the United States "thoroughly reviewed the potential
transaction and concluded they had no objection." The
committee includes representatives from the departments of
Treasury, Defense, Justice, Commerce, State and Homeland
The United Arab Emirates has been described as a leading
military ally of the United States. In 2005, the UAE acquired
the first 10 of 80 F-16E/F Block 60 multi-role fighters in a
$6.4 billion purchase.
But officials said the UAE has not fully responded to
repeated appeals from the Treasury Department to halt
money-laundering activities exploited by Al Qaida and aligned
groups. They said that for years Dubai served as a base for Al
Qaida operatives, including those who destroyed the World
Trade Center and a Pentagon wing in 2001.
"America's busiest ports are vital to our economy and to
the international economy, and that is why they remain top
terrorist targets," Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat,
said. "Just as we would not outsource military operations or
law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we
outsource such sensitive homeland security duties."