A file photo of the General Assembly Hall at the UN headquarters. Image Credit: AP

The UAE lobbied against Canada's bid to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council because of its anti-Arab policies and protectionism, a UAE official told Gulf News.

When asked whether the UAE lobbied against Canada’s bid to get a seat on the Security Council, the official confirmed and said; “Look at Canada’s record in the General Assembly. When it comes to Arab issues and particularly the Palestinian rights, Ottawa obviously did not deserve Arab support or international support.”

The official described Canada’s stand on the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla as “absurd”.

“For example, Canada saw the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that killed human rights activists and rightly outraged most Canadians and the world as self-defense. This is totally absurd,” the official said.

Canada pulled out after its poor showing on the second ballot — 78 to Portugal's 113.

The official added the UAE and Arab countries welcomed Portugal’s victory in the Security Council. “It (Portugal) is a nation that respects the international law.”

The UAE official confirmed protectionism over landing rights “is a continuing concern for the UAE and unlikely to become less of an issue. "Canada's handling of the landing rights issue does not belong to the 21st century, but rather to an era that has long collapsed from the last century.The UAE will not take protectionism lightly,” the official said.

The official stressed there was no doubt Canada's handling of this issue and just prior to the UN vote had a negative impact not only on the UAE, but also on many Arab and other countries, which originally were willing to support Canada. "The result of the vote is a clear reflection of that."

Paul Heinbecker, Canada's former ambassador to the UN and a leading critic of the government's foreign policy, said a day after Tuesday's surprise loss in New York, many of Canada's decisions -- including decreased African aid, its support of Israel, and its stance on climate change and peacekeeping -- are unpopular with the international community.

CBC, the main CTV in Canada, commented on Canada’s lost bid: “You have to wonder who would be more stunned by this week of debacles in Canadian foreign policy – government ministers, our diplomats or Canada’s generals.

“t is unlikely this country has ever suffered two such humiliating international fiascos simultaneously. There is simply no sugar coating the drubbing Canada has taken. First we were essentially booted out of our Camp Mirage, further humiliated our defence minister and chief of defence staff by denying them even a right to land on a flyover from Afghanistan.

“Within 24 hours, Canada suffered the ignominy of our failed bid for a prized seat on the UN Security Council, something the government had hoped would hand them a political triumph.”