Dubai Company to Give Up Stake in U.S. Ports Deal
WASHINGTON — After Republican leaders warned President Bush that the House and Senate appeared ready to block Dubai Ports World from taking over some U.S. port terminal operations, the company said it would give up its management stake in the deal. The Thursday announcement was a blow for Democrats, who were pushing for a Senate vote on an amendment that would halt the deal. If they succeeded in that vote, Democrats could then claim a big election year win in the area of national security — an area Republicans generally have a stronger track record on.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., read a statement from DP World executives on the Senate floor Thursday, announcing the concession.

"Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States and to preserve that relationship, DP World has decided to transfer fully the U.S. operation of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity," DP World's chief operating officer, Edward H. Bilkey, said in the statement.

With the latest DP World news, many members of Congress who thus far have been critical of the deal may be much more positive toward it. Because the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee passed a bill blocking the deal on Wednesday, Democrats were scrambling to get a similar bill passed in the Senate by attaching it to a lobby reform bill. Bush has vowed to veto any measure halting the deal.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - State-owned Arab company Dubai Ports World confirmed on Thursday an announcement by U.S. Sen. John Warner that it would transfer operation of U.S. ports it has acquired from the British company P & O.

"Sen. Warner has made our statement for us. His announcements says everything we have to say at this point," a spokesman said.
"We can say no more"

Posted by: Steve 2006-03-09