x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Villages need tourist revenue

Erosion and warming are putting Himalayan villagers at risk, a reader notes. Other letters topics: Iranian oil, GM food, Syria, Emiratisation and renewable energy.

A reader congratulates the campaign by climber Apa Sherpa to warn about environmental degradation.AP
A reader congratulates the campaign by climber Apa Sherpa to warn about environmental degradation.AP

I refer to your news story Iranian oil shipment for India cancelled (February 4). I believe that sanctions by the US and the EU to halt Tehran's nuclear programme make Iran increasingly reliant on exports to India, China and Russia to maintain its cash flow.

Of these three countries, India in particular has been trying to replace its Iranian imports from another source, Saudi Arabia.

India's defence minister AK Antony was in Riyadh in February reportedly to ask for assistance and replace the oil Iran.

It is strange knowing that Saudi Arabia and Iran were on the same side during the famous 1973 oil embargo against the US and Europe as a reaction to their support of Israelis in the war against Arabs.

Today, Saudi Arabia does not believe that Iran's nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes and seeks to replace Iranian oil supplies to India and to other countries if needed.

Ayse Arzu Caglayan, Turkey

Annan mission unlikely to work

Your article Annan trying to sell the impossible (February 4) was good to read and it is right in saying Kofi Annan's mediation mission in Syria is impossible.

When Mr Annan was the UN's secretary general, his rigorous efforts to solve the Iraq issue at the time failed. The new task in Syria is unlikely to yield any results.

The Syrian people and President Bashar Al Assad should engage in a dialogue for a peaceful transition.

K Ragavan, India

Avoid statements of vested interest

The problem with stating "most agricultural experts maintain that [genetically modified] food poses no health hazards" in Experts call for checks on GM food (March 2) is that you may be asking questions of those who have a vested interest in promoting GM food.

There has been a lot of negative research results on genetically modified food.

To continue on the GM road, companies like Monsanto in the US, have bought up numerous companies selling non-GM seed to gradually make it impossible to buy anything other than GM seed in the future.

Given the health issues that are suffered by so many people in the population, surely the first priority for governments should be ensuring that their citizens consume food that is proven to be safe.

AK Wells, UK

Do not damage a tourism marvel

The article Super Sherpa in new trek to warn of floods (March 4) was very illuminating to read, though heart breaking.

I hope that tourists keep going to the villages in the Himalayan foothills of the world's tallest mountain and keep providing these villagers with employment and a source of income. But I fear, at the same time, that being too poor to move away from riverbeds and too dependent on water for crops and cooking may cause the death of so many Himalayans in case of floods.

The Himalayas are a fragile environment seismically and tectonically and some slopes are deforested and exposed to accelerated erosion for sure.

The effect of tourism is supposed to be good economically and culturally; its effect must be limited in order for human and wildlife habitations to survive.

Dilara Akay, Turkey

Equality in jobs helps Emiratis

Something missing in the workforce (March 4) is missing some key points.

As a business owner, I'm afraid to hire an Emirati not because I'm afraid to try but because we cannot fire an Emirati once hired.

What if I do get someone who is a bad employee?

Do I have to pay that person the rest of their life? What about pensions costs?

If hiring of Emiratis were the same as hiring any other nationality, you would see a change in hiring practices by private employers like myself.

Jai Surendra, Dubai

Seychelles project opens new doors

Your report Abu Dhabi blows hot for Seychelles power (March 4) was highly informative.

The project represents the fact that the Seychelles has genuinely entered the path to embrace renewable energy for its sustainable development.

It also represents the fact that the UAE has positively supported the development and deployment of renewable-energy technologies worldwide.

The Abu Dhabi-Seychelles route was launched by Etihad Airways in November 2011 to develop tourism relations besides green-energy project relations.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi