Qatar trying to get international air organization away from Canada

May 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM

OTTAWA, May 2 (UPI) -- Qatar is trying to convince other Arab countries to move the International Civil Aviation Organization out of Montreal, officials say.

The move could get support from leaders who want to punish Canada for its support of Israel, the Globe and Mail reported. Qatar has made a bid to become the new headquarters, promising subsidies.

Sources told the newspaper Canada was an item on the agenda at an April 23 meeting of U.N. ambassadors from Arab states and one strategy discussed was voting against the country in international organizations.

Losing the ICAO, which has had its headquarters in Montreal since 1947, would be a symbolic loss for Canada and a very practical one for the province of Quebec, officials say. A study last year determined the agency contributes $119 million to the city's economy every year.

Any move would have to be approved by 60 percent of the ICAO's 191 members.

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