Canada denies ban on UAE airlines for officials

* UAE foreign minister says Canada escalating tensions

* Ottawa says does not restrict travel on UAE carriers

*

OTTAWA, Nov 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Canada denied allegations on
Wednesday that it has barred government officials from flying
on United Arab Emirates airlines, which would have escalated a
diplomatic standoff over landing rights.

Tensions have risen between the two countries since Canada
denied expanded landing rights for UAE airlines flying to
Canada. That triggered a UAE government decision to end access
to a military base used by the Canadian military to support
troops in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, a UAE official said Canadian citizens will now
need visas to enter the country.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, foreign minister of the United
Arab Emirates, suggested on Wednesday the Canadian government
had taken the dispute a step further.

“The last thing I heard that Canadian officials cannot go
on UAE carriers, so I think this is an escalation that came
from Canada not from the UAE,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a very smart decision.”

Officials at Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department denied
there was any such travel ban.

“No, not true,” an official said. “We have an existing
agreement with them.”

Dubai carrier Emirates [EMIRA.UL] had been lobbying, with
support from the UAE government, to increase its thrice-weekly
direct flights to Toronto and add more Canadian destinations,
but it failed to gain greater access.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways also wants to increase its
flights.
(Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson)

Canada denies ban on UAE airlines for officials