Bush tries to calm uproar over ports row

President George Bush today sought to calm an uproar over an Arab company taking over operations at six major American ports, saying: “People don’t need to worry about security.”

Under a secretive agreement with the administration, a company in the United Arab Emirates promised to co-operate with US investigations as a condition of its takeover of operations at the ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The US government chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.

“The more people learn about the transaction,” Bush said.

“The more they’ll be comforted that the ports will be secure.”

He spoke to reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting.

Bush said he was struck by the fact that people were not concerned about port security when a British company was running the port operation, but they felt differently about an Arab company at the helm. He said the United Arab Emirates was a valuable partner in the war in terror.

He said his administration would continue talks with members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, who have rebelled against the takeover.

He said the briefings were “bringing a sense of calm to this issue”.

“This wouldn’t be going forward if we weren’t certain our ports would be secure,” the president said.

More in this Section

Dublin Airport sees passenger numbers break September recordDublin Airport sees passenger numbers break September record

An Post report gender pay gap of almost 4%An Post report gender pay gap of almost 4%

Berlin moves to freeze its runaway rents for five yearsBerlin moves to freeze its runaway rents for five years

Draghi in this week’s farewell can point to jobs growthDraghi in this week’s farewell can point to jobs growth


Lifestyle

We catch up with Bushmills’ master distiller, who tells Sam Wylie-Harris more about this liquid gold.Irish whiskey masterclass: 11 things you need to know

Temples, beaches, and several nations with new names.From Bhutan to Costa Rica, Lonely Planet reveals its top countries to visit in 2020

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman who’s unsure how to manage her mother’s dying wishes.Ask a counsellor: ‘Is it appropriate to notify my mother’s friends of her death by email?’

‘The Big Yin’ talks to Luke Rix-Standing about living with Parkinson’s, the power of forgiveness, and why he will never, ever stop swearing.Billy Connolly: ‘You don’t wake up famous, you wake up scratching yourself like everybody else’

More From The Irish Examiner