A Dubai-based maritime company has offered to postpone its plans to take over management of six U.S. ports.
Dubai Ports World, based in the United Arab Emirates, said Thursday it will delay taking over management of the ports while the Bush Administration discusses the deal with Congress.
It did not indicate how long it will wait for these discussions to take place. The company said it will move forward with other parts of the deal.
Political observers say the surprise announcement should give President Bush extra time to convince lawmakers that the port deal does not present a national security risk.
Earlier, senior presidential advisor Karl Rove said the White House would accept a slight delay in implementing the port takeover.
President Bush continued to defend the agreement Thursday, saying Americans do not need to worry about security.
In a Senate briefing Thursday, administration officials said they conducted a three-month review of the plan and found no potential security concerns.
Lawmakers, however, criticized Mr. Bush for not informing them earlier about the nearly $7 billion deal.Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.