10 March 2006

Beware of the Arab backlash

Further to the ports story published yesterday, DP World has announced that it will sell its American holdings to a US company, seemingly saving George W. Bush from a dramatic confrontation with congress. The company said that it wished to preserve the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Hussein Ibish (pictured), of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership, said that DP World and the UAE had been forced to submit to "demagogues and populists". American businesses must now be wary of an Arab backlash, with Boeing seen as particularly vunerable having won a $10 billion order from the UAE's flagship airline Emirates in November 2005.

In the US, representative Peter King, Republican of New York, said that Bush had greeted him by saying, "It looks like good news for all of us." Perhaps the majority of Americans will welcome the news but the Middle East’s, and indeed the world’s, perception of it as a fair, democratic nation has probably just dropped a little in the process.

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