UAE’s stand on principle

It does not matter what the size of a nation is, what matters is whether one believes in the morally right stand to take and then adheres it. The UAE has never taken a hostile step towards any other country but it has to protect both its interests and its independence even when it comes to bilateral initiatives.

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Published: Mon 29 Nov 2010, 9:03 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

The current strain with Canada is not a situation that the UAE wishes to have nor one that it find any pleasure in but, under the circumstances, the advice being given to the Canadians by the Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri is both justified and predicated on the logic that Canada needs to revisit its own relationship with other nations, and also redo its sums where negotiating for more flights for the UAE carriers into Canada is concerned. Mansouri rightly points out that the Emirates has spent six years in trying to hammer out an equitable arrangement but is now exhausted where options are concerned.

Canada is not able to see the bigger picture in which the additional flights will actually jumpstart more jobs and boost the economy. Instead, there has been a certain lack of diplomacy and tact and the statements coming out of the Canadian authorities are provocative and unnecessarily exacerbating the situation. In fact, even after the month-old standoff the UAE has not come out with any statement or response to the Canadian criticisms. The UAE is also quite clear that it values the traditional ties it has with the Canadians and the commercial importance that endures with the friendship. But the present impasse is based on principle and logic and cannot be compromised. Mansouri has spared no effort to explain how the extra flights will provide revenue and also raise the number of jobs in Canada but there seems to be a surprising resistance to what would definitely be a revenue earner for Canada.

It is hoped that the Canadians will pick up the issue and sit at the negotiating table and bring the warmth back into the relationship. The two countries cannot allow this impasse to continue and it is time for Canada to slow down on the commentary and be a little more circumspect in assessing the sincerity of the proposal. They may find it very positive if they did not allow themselves to be prejudiced by their own pre-conceived notions.

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