Dubai Company Gives up Stake in US Ports Deal

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - After facing opposition nationwide and from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, a Dubai company that was set to take over operations at several U.S. ports announced Thursday that it would divest itself from the U.S. portion of the deal and turn over operations to a U.S. company.

Reading a statement from Dubai Ports World on the Senate floor, Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) said the Dubai company wants "to preserve" the relationship the United Arab Emirates has with the U.S.

"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 CEO Edward H. Bilkey said in the statement.

The company's decision comes as Republican leaders warned President Bush that the deal would not receive congressional approval.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) applauded the move, saying he had "reservations from the start about a foreign government having the keys to six of our most strategic ports."

"The resulting outcry of concern from across the country went unanswered by the Administration. Today, Dubai Ports World itself seems to have answered those concerns," said Foley in a statement.

"Although the details of today's announcement remain unknown, I applaud Dubai Ports World for respecting our concerns for national security," Foley added.

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