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Dubai Backs Out of US Port Deal


The Dubai company causing a political storm over its bid to manage some U.S. ports confirms it will divest itself of all American interests. Thursday's development did not stop U.S. congressional moves to block the deal.

In the Senate, Democrats forced a vote on the issue shortly after the announcement. A leading critic of the deal, Democrat Charles Schumer, welcomed the news.

But he added he wants to make sure the Dubai company has really severed all ties and will hand over US port management to a U.S. entity. A subcommittee in the House of Representatives moved closer to halting the takeover Wednesday.

A majority of Americans surveyed oppose the deal, saying they are wary of an Arab nation's company managing U.S. ports, a consideration in this election year. President Bush had vowed to veto any legislation that would have blocked the takeover.

Mr. Bush had argued that the company, owned by the government of Dubai, would have been running operations at the port, while US authorities would have been in charge of security.

He noted that the United Arab Emirates has been an ally in the fight against terrorism and questioned why no one had protested when other foreign companies took over management at other U.S. ports.

Dubai Ports World is taking over control of a British company, a small part of which runs operations at several ports in the United States.

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