Saturday, November 20, 2010

The "Plane" Truth

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the conduct of the relations of one state with another by peaceful means
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) skill in the management of international relations
3. tact, skill, or cunning in dealing with people
[from French diplomatie, from diplomatique diplomatic]

 The Harper Government has for the last two years refused to meet with the UAE Ambassador to Canada.
Harper issued a statement claiming the the UAE was "black mailing" Canada into more landing rights, but if this is true how does Stephen Harper explain the following:

Trade between the two countries increased from $706 million in 2007 to $1.54 billion in 2008

According to figures provided to Gulf News by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, the country's imports from Canada were valued at $1.18 billion (Dh4.32 billion) in 2009.

The dogfight in the skies over the United Arab Emirates has the potential to punch a billion-dollar hole in Canadian exports to the region even while we're hastily evicted from a military base that has cost tens of millions of dollars to carve out of the desert sand near Dubai.

With 27,000 Canadians living in the UAE, and a significant trade relationship (the UAE is Canada's largest trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa with bilateral trade figures of over 1.5 billion dollars of which 95 per cent is Canadian exports) as well as 200 Canadian companies active in the UAE today, six flights per week does not service the economic needs of both countries or the potential for growth.   

Did Harper really think this through?

Now Canadians must ask themselves was Stephen Harper shooting from the hip as he usual does?
Stephen Harper is usually quick to anger and strikes back without taking the time to think things through.  
1.Did Harper foresee the $300 - $500 Million it would cost Canadians to lose their base at Camp Mirage?
2.Was the expense of setting up another base in Turkey ever considered?
3.Now that the Afghanistan mission has been extended (without a parliamentary vote) does Stephen Harper wish that he had used a more diplomatic approach in dealing with UAE.
4.Did this conservative government ever consider the added stress and worry of Canadian soldiers?
5.Over 200 Canadian companies are in the UAE doing business. The most mentionable might be Research in Motion and Bombardier. What will the fall out be? We already know that every single Canadian must now have passports to enter the UAE. All 26,000 of them!
The truth of the matter is we do not know how it will cost Canada in the long run, but many say billions of dollars. Some say Harper's loss of the UN Security Seat will pale in comparison.


Defense Minister Peter McKay believes that issue with the UAE could take a decade to repair, a fact that Stephen Harper was angered to hear McKay speak of and for the next week Peter McKay was frozen out of negotiations


UAE Ambassador in Canada issues statement on UAE-Canada airline negotiations posted on 11/10/2010

Ottawa - In a statement released yesterday by the UAE Embassy in Canada, UAE ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Al-Ghafli said in reference to UAE-Canadian airline negotiations: "The UAE is disappointed that despite intensive negotiations over the last five years the UAE and Canada have been unable to arrive at an agreement on expanding the number of flights between the two countries. It is unfortunate that this process has been so protracted and frustrating. The UAE entered negotiations in good faith on the understanding that a solution would be reached and that constructive ideas would be brought to the negotiating table. The fact that this has not come about undoubtedly affects the bilateral relationship.
The UAE continues to support the development and growth of international trade ties across all sectors, with our partners and friends around the world, in the belief that such ties are the basis for strong strategic relations." √Ę€“ Emirates News Agency, WAM

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