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US Congressional delegation praises UAE leadership

posted on 13/03/2006: 585 views

A U.S. congressional delegation praised the U.S.-UAE relations and expressed determination to maintain their partnership with the UAE. The Congressional delegation from Georgia, composed of U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, U.S. Representative Phil Gingrey and U.S. Representative John Linder, visited the UAE on March 12th, and met with H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and senior Port officials.

In Dubai, they met with Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Butti, saw a demonstration of the Container Security Initiative operation at Port Rashid, and met with Executive Chairman Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation Sultan bin Sulayem.

After meeting H.H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid, Senator Chambliss said: "We had very positive meetings in the UAE with the government leadership as well as management of Dubai Ports World. We value the relationship between the UAE and the United States, and we have worked very closely together in fighting the global war on terror.

"It is critically important that we continue our partnership and work side by side in fighting terrorism and on the upcoming trade agreement." "On the particular transaction on the port situation, the Prime Minister showed tremendous leadership in urging Dubai Ports World to transfer the operation of the ports to a United States' owned entity. We now have the opportunity to move forward in our relationship and continue to work together as partners on our priorities." Senator Chambliss said the level of professionalism in Dubai "was just stunning".

Senator Isakson thanked the leadership "for understanding the sensitivity of the situation. In one day, he said, we received a college education about the UAE.

"The UAE is our partners in the war on terrorism, and we have a mutually beneficial and multi-faceted relationship. Because there was a firestorm of controversy concerning the ports deal, we decided to come to Dubai to learn the facts for ourselves", he added.

Referring to the Dubai Ports controversy, Congressman Linder said "This project was publicised in November and no one responded.

In March, it became a political issue, the Democrats trying to show they are strong on national security and the Republicans trying to respond." In the future, he said, these things should be measured on facts, not on emotions." On his part, Congressman Gingrey said the process certainly would have been better had Congress been informed. People are still fearful, but it is important for the American people to better understand the UAE. The UAE has been very helpful in the war on terror. "This country is not part of the problem, rather it is part of the solution", he asserted. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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