Oh good lord. If it were any other government I would say there would have to be more to this story.
Peter MacKay confirmed Monday that talks with the United Arab Emirates had failed, and that Canada would abide by the country's wishes and vacate the base. MacKay made the comments while visiting Canadian soldiers in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar.
He would not say what prompted the closure, but the dispute centres around the U.A.E.'s request for more landing rights in Canada for its national carriers, Emirates and Etihad.
So the Canadian Forces, at war, gets a logistics migraine because Airshow and Harpergov couldn't grant the host country's air carriers a few more landing rights in this country?
On a serious note, this occurs on the heels of the emerging convoy problems in Pakistan. Aside from the obvious dark joke about the Conservatives giving the Pakistan Taliban a helping hand in the Emirates, NATO's logistics chain and thus operations are in serious trouble should these attacks continue.
A military source in Ottawa says the United Arab Emirates closed its airspace Monday to Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk in an escalating diplomatic row over aviation rights. MacKay and Natynczyk were on their way back from a three-day visit to Afghanistan.
This is very serious. There might be more to this story that just flight rights...