UK court rules to protect DP World deal in Djibouti

Djibouti authorities seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) port from DP World in February of this year. (AFP)
Updated 05 September 2018
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UK court rules to protect DP World deal in Djibouti

  • On Feb. 22, the Djibouti authorities seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) port from DP World, which had been awarded the concession in 2006
  • In the run-up to the seizure, the Djibouti government had already attempted to force DP World to renegotiate the terms of the port concession

LONDON: A court in the UK has ruled in favor of Dubai ports operator DP World over a case involving a disputed shipping terminal in Djibouti.
On Feb. 22, the Djibouti authorities seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) port from DP World, which had been awarded the concession in 2006.
In the run-up to the seizure, the Djibouti government had already attempted to force DP World to renegotiate the terms of the port concession.
But the High Court of England and Wales has granted an injunction restraining Djibouti’s port company, Port de Djibouti S.A. (PDSA), from treating its joint venture shareholders’ agreement with DP World as terminated, according to a Dubai Government statement issued Wednesday.
The court also prohibited PDSA from removing directors of the DCT joint venture company who were appointed by DP World, the statement said.
“PDSA is not to interfere with the management of DCT until further orders of the court or the resolution of the dispute by a London-seated arbitration tribunal,” the Dubai Government statement said.
“The High Court’s order follows the unlawful attempt by PDSA to terminate the joint venture agreement with DP World and the calling of an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on 9 September by PDSA to replace DP World-appointed directors.”
The legal ruling is the third in favor of DP World in the long-running dispute.
In August, Djibouti’s seizure of the Doraleh Container Terminal was ruled illegal by the London Court of International Arbitration.
The ruling will come as a blow to Djibouti and could potentially threaten the country’s ability to attract foreign investment in the future, analysts told Arab News at the time.
The Doraleh port has three berths and an annual capacity of 1.2 million 20-foot equivalent units of container traffic. Under the concession agreement, the Djibouti government had a
67 percent stake while DP World held 33 percent.


Iraq slams Exxon for evacuating staff amid Gulf tensions

Updated 19 May 2019
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Iraq slams Exxon for evacuating staff amid Gulf tensions

BAGHDAD: Iraq on Sunday slammed as “political” a decision by US energy giant ExxonMobil to evacuate staff from a southern oil field after Washington ordered personnel to quit its Baghdad embassy.
“The temporary withdrawal of employees has nothing to do with security in southern Iraqi oil fields or any threats,” Oil Minister Thamer Al-Ghadban said.
“The reasons are political and probably linked to tensions in the region,” he added in a statement released by the oil ministry.
Ghadban called the move to pull out staff from the West Qorna oil field west of the southern port city of Basra “unacceptable and unjustified.”
Exxon did not confirm the withdrawal.
“We are closely monitoring. As a matter of practice, we don’t share specifics related to operational staffing at our facilities,” a spokeswoman said.
“ExxonMobil has programs and measures in place to provide security to protect its people, operations and facilities. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and contractors at all of our facilities around the world,” she added.
On Wednesday the United States ordered the evacuation of non-emergency staff from its Baghdad embassy and Irbil consulate, citing an “imminent” threat from Iranian-linked armed groups in Iraq.
It came 10 days after the Pentagon deployed an aircraft carrier task force and B-52 bombers to the Gulf to fend off an unspecified alleged plot by Tehran to attack US forces or allies.