Saudi Arabia-Canada spat explained

10 Août, 2018, 02:03 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Saudi Press Agency

On Monday, Saudi's foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Canada for consultations and declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata, giving him 24 hours to leave. She is a Canadian citizen whose brother, Raif Badawi, a blogger who was critical of the government, was already in jail in the Saudi kingdom.

"Throughout its long history, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has never accepted any interference in its domestic affairs by, or orders from any country", the country's foreign ministry wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a weird and long-winded statement.

A weekend story by KTW that said TRU could lose one-tenth of its worldwide students due to Saudi Arabia cutting off relationships with Canada and ordering its students to return home was wrong. It follows Ottawa's rebuke of Riyadh for the arrest of a number of human rights activists.

Saudi investments in Canada include G3 Global Holdings Ltd., a joint venture between Bunge Ltd. and Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Co., which purchased the former Canadian Wheat Board in 2015. Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia totalled about $1.12bn in 2017, or 0.2 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.

According to the Toronto Star, Canada's largest export recently has been armoured tanks and personnel carriers. Well, sure, but we're talking about Saudi Arabia here.

But Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir tweeted that Canada's position was based on "misleading information", adding that anyone arrested was "subject to Saudi laws that guarantee their rights".

"Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia".

Among those detained by Riyadh is Loujain al-Hathloul, 28, who appeared with the Duchess of Sussex, then Meghan Markle, at a One Young World summit in Canada two years ago where they were pictured in a Vanity Fair photoshoot.

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Describing both countries as "close partners" of the US, the US State Department on Tuesday referred inquiries about the spat to the Saudi and Canadian foreign ministries.

"I think it would be a shame for those students if they are deprived of their right to study here", Freeland said.

Since the diplomatic feud erupted on Sunday, the federal Liberal government has said it stands by its decision to communicate its human-rights concerns with Saudi Arabia.

The issue that led to this diplomatic impasse involves Saudi police arresting human-rights activist Samar Badawi and others last week. "We are always going to speak up for human rights; we're always going to speak up for women's rights; and that is not going to change", she said.

Saudi Arabia doesn't want to be lectured to by the West and they are delivering the message.

Riyadh has also stopped all medical treatment programmes in Canada and is co-ordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals to other hospitals outside Canada, the Saudi press agency reported early on Wednesday.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry took exception to the use of the term "immediately release", calling it "unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states".

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