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Emirates tell Canada to quit supply base

Oct. 11, 2010 at 3:40 PM   |   Comments

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The United Arab Emirates has ordered Canada out of an important staging base for Afghanistan, Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay confirmed Monday.

The Emirates canceled a memorandum of understanding last Tuesday, triggering a clause that means Canada must pack up and leave Camp Mirage within 30 days, Postmedia News reported.

"At this point we will abide by the wishes of the Emirates and that is that we will be leaving the base," MacKay said at the end of a trip to Afghanistan.

The dispute came about after the Emirates asked for more landing rights in Canada for its national carriers, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways. Canada resisted the proposal after strong complaints from Air Canada and Transport Canada.

Military sources tell Postmedia Canada is considering sending cargo through a NATO base in Germany and transiting troops through Cyprus, which some soldiers use already. Other options include neighboring Gulf states and Turkey.

"One thing I know about the Canadian Forces is they are very adaptable," MacKay said.

Topics: Peter MacKay
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