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Sun 9 Jan 2011 10:08 AM

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Canadian PM tells UAE ‘give me a break’ over airline spat

Harper says Canada will pick its allies more carefully after landing rights row with UAE

Canadian PM tells UAE ‘give me a break’ over airline spat
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Canadian PM tells UAE ‘give me a break’ over airline spat
Canada flag

Canadian
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has accused the UAE of attempting to capitalise
on Ottawa’s operations in Afghanistan to secure more landing rights for its
flagship airlines.

Harper
said the country would pick its allies more carefully following its political
spat with the Gulf state, which saw the UAE shut down a secret military base
near Dubai used to support Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

Canada’s
transport agency in November declined to give the UAE additional slots at its
airports, despite years of requests from the Gulf state.

“That’s
just not how you treat allies, and I think tells us you better pick your
friends pretty carefully in the future,” Harper said in comments quoted by QMI
Agency.

“I
could never see [Canada] treating an ally like that. Could you imagine after
9/11 if the Americans had come to the Canadian government and said, ‘We need
help on something to do with security’ [and we said] ‘Well, only if you do
something on Buy America.’ I mean, give me a break.”

The
closure of Camp Mirage was a direct hit on Canadian efforts to fight the war on
terror, and should have been exempt from any diplomatic feud between the two
countries, Harper said.

“When
we, as a country, offer to be part of a international mission to help protect
global security, then somebody comes along and uses that to try and leverage
demands on our domestic airline industry, I don’t think that’s a situation we,
as a country, want to be in,” Harper told QMI Agency.

“What this teaches us in
future and when we’re looking at other options is: Don’t get in a place where
somebody’s going to try and use it to leverage some unrelated issue.”

 

Red Snappa 8 years ago

Well what does happen if the UAE needs military assistance from Canada at any time?

An Arab 8 years ago

I don't think that UAE would need Canada at any day in the future, actually this attitude must change and the westerners arrogance should get to an end...they will be treated equally they can't just keep taking without giving, taking this region for granted must end.

Bahjaoui 8 years ago

As you know, UAE does not need any military assistance from Canada. We know all that its purely economic reasons, as Air Canada will loose traffic and passengers to EH or Etihad. Passengers will prefer to fly with both companies than Air Canada due to quality of services. This will affect the performance of Air Canada, which was in bankrupt 4 years ago. How you can explain that France, Spain, UK, Germany, USA and others approved a daily flight and not Canada?

Kaptain Mirza 8 years ago

@Red Snappa..

And why would UAE need military assistance in any way..in the future? The UAE's sovereignty is not threatened. So why soften the stance?

Business and bullet are separate worlds.

Original Joe 8 years ago

Needs military assistance from Canada? The UAE has the US to back them up followed by the UK so who needs Canada anyway?

Harper said some stupid stuff...

"That's just not how you treat allies, and I think tells us you better pick your friends pretty carefully in the future" is what Harper said, but could be said by the UAE government of Canada! The UAE allowed a secret military base and Canada will not give the UAE a few more landing slots? Are you kidding?

Harper mentioned something about "...leverage demands on our domestic airline industry..." but I didn't see where UAE airlines wanted to add flights from Vancouver to Montreal (domestic), they want flights from Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, etc. direct to UAE airports. Mr. Harper, this would be called INTERNATIONAL, not domestic.

When is the next election so Canadians can vote in a more pro-business Prime Minister?

Sax 8 years ago

You had a break for NINE years!!!

What have you offered in return for the 9 years of free military base usage?

Kamil 8 years ago

They will charge them $1000.- a visit. :)

todd 8 years ago

This unfortunately is the most logical statement made on this issue and the Prime Minister has hit the nail on the head. Don't use a nations response to a horrific event as negotiating fodder for commercial gain. When they removed the Canadian military they ended the debate and that was a grave and painfully short sighted mistake. No one wins in this mess. UAE should offer an olive branch and come back to the table, Canada has an incredible legacy of diplomacy and peaceful negotiation. Reinstate the military base and start a new dialog on trade and 2 way opportunity. We need Sheikh Mohammed to step in and work his magic on this one.

Etania 8 years ago

Well said Harper.

Grant 8 years ago

Canadians won't bother coming to the UAE if they will be charged $1000. So less tourist dollars for the UAE, also less money going into the UAE via its military base.