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Sat 25 May 2013 11:45 AM

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Qatar drops bid to host UN aviation body

Gulf state previously proposed moving HQ of ICAO from Montreal prompting protests

Qatar drops bid to host UN aviation body
Generic airplane, airport

Qatar has dropped a bid to move the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organisation from Montreal to Doha, Canadian and ICAO officials said on Friday.

Qatar last month proposed that the organization leave Montreal, where it has been based since it was created as a UN agency since 1947.

"Pleased to confirm Qatar has withdrawn its bid to move ICAO HQ from Montreal," Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said on Twitter.

Losing ICAO would have been a diplomatic embarrassment for Canada and Baird had campaigned hard against the idea.

ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said the Qatari embassy in Ottawa had sent a letter late on Thursday announcing it was withdrawing the bid. He said the letter gave no reasons.

No one at the Qatari embassy was immediately available for comment on Friday.

The French-language La Presse newspaper said Qatar had argued that Montreal - in the eastern province of Quebec - was too far from Europe and Asia and suffered cold winters.

La Presse, citing Qatari briefing notes, said the wealthy Gulf state also complained Canada made it hard for delegates to get visas and said Canadian taxes were too high.

The lease on ICAO's current Montreal headquarters runs out at the end of 2016 and the organization is in talks with Canada to extend that to 2036.

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RAH 6 years ago

Some authorities in Q would be better off lowering their egos to a more realistic level for the sake of their country's reputation abroad.

procan 6 years ago

Qatar has no reputation just a lot of oil money. Qatar arrogance's is there shame. Canada will not forget this insult.

Sarcastic 6 years ago

YES! because asking for the right to host an international organization within a legal framework destroys a country's reputation.

Sam 6 years ago

@procan
Funny you make Canada sound like some super-power when you rely so heavily on the US to just survive. Also, lets not forget not too long ago Canada was quoted by the UN as the only third world country located in the first world ...

procan 6 years ago

Well Sam, to say I indicated in any way Canada was a Super Power, well read the comment again. Does Canada have power yes we do . Science , Education, Social Freedoms ,Freely elected Governments at all levels. Please enjoy our work at the G8. Please in joy watching Canadians in Space and developing space technologies. Power yes we have had military power not all it is cracked up to be, ask our American friends they will tell you.The USA and Canada are so are much closer than the sum of our trade the greatest on the planet bar none. We are family we have fought and died to gather, our belief systems are the same our vast resource are shared we are as one, in many ways. Dammit we like each other. Come watch us play Hockey together ,Baseball, NFL ,NBA. Watch us rush across rush across the border to help each other in time of need. Qatar will never enjoy this kind of relationship or even understand it.. "we are family" ha ha .

Sam 6 years ago

@procan
I bet you voted Harper - the dillusionist.

PS: FYI, the Canada-US relationship is a bad marriage - destined by nature due to your geography. Its actually a curse on our "cousins", (as we refer to you here in the UK). I have lived in Canada and you guys like us more than the yankees. Actually, you can't stand the yankees, but can't live without them. Even opening your doors to immigration from India, Pakistan and China (listed as Top Donor nations to Canadian Immigration), you have NOT been able to achieve really much. Maybe its just too cold, so hibernation is the best option.
Dream on then mate...I don't ever see you getting on par with Qatar's per capita income levels, so its not you that need to "forget the insult" (as you put it), I think its them who need to forgive u (if you want their cash...)

Qatari 6 years ago

I would prefer any country in the Eastern Hemisphere over Canada.

procan 6 years ago

UK is lost to a immigration policy gone wild. The Drum of conflict pounds in the Middle East .Wake us when its over if you get hungry eat some of that delicious cash :) good nite.

Sam from Canada 6 years ago

@Qatari
If you really believe that, then you are smarter than most of the intellectually-colonized Qatari/GCC minds who have yet to figure out that China and the East is the future. China was a superpower for centuries - and is slowly but surely back again in the driving seat. However, she is just too smart this time to brag about it. They leave us North Americans and Europeans to do all the bragging :)

However, lets call an apple an apple: we ARE better than the North Pole :)

Qatari 6 years ago

The East is the future. Very True.