Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Canada to ask UK, UAE to help end Saudi Arabia rift

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Ginger Lawrence | 10 August, 2018, 02:04

The United States and the European Union said Tuesday that they are seeking details about the arrest of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, but they sidestepped a sensitive diplomatic dispute over the crackdown between the ultraconservative kingdom and Canada. Freedland urged the Saudi government to "immediately release them".

In an earlier response to Freeland's tweet, the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia issued a statement ordering Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak to leave the country within 24 hours.

The latest retaliatory move came after Canada's ministry of foreign affairs raised concerns about the arrest of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi (pictured main), sister of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi. In tandem, the Saudi ambassador to Canada would also be recalled as well in light of the spat.

"Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs", the ministry said. Saudi authorities accused Ottawa of interfering with its internal affairs.

In little more than a year, the kingdom has led a four-country coalition that severed ties with neighbouring Qatar, recalled its ambassador to Germany and cut back its trade dealings with some German companies amid a diplomatic row.

Since May, a dozen Saudi human rights campaigners have been arrested according to Human Right's Watch. Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia totaled about $1.12 billion in 2017, or 0.2 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.

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"The only people buying oil from Saudi Arabia would be Irving".

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday she "looks forward" to hearing from Riyadh about the future of the deal. "And Saudi Arabia is taking aim at Canada over Trudeau's refusal to endorse sanctions on rival Iran".

"It is clear that, in the eyes of the world, there is a perception of Canada as one of the last bastions of the defense of the global liberal order, both economic, political and social", he said. "We can't do it for them; they need to resolve it together", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.

Reid said there are several factors playing in the agreement's favour: the Saudis would have to pay penalties if they walk away from the deal, a pullout could hurt the country's reputation with other worldwide trading partners and, perhaps most importantly, Riyadh wants the model of armoured vehicle that's produced in London. Many students pay tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees alone, while also paying huge sums on accommodation and living expenses. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen.

Trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia exceeded $4-billion (€ 3.4 billion) a year ago, a significant portion of it came from a controversial multibillion-dollar deal to sell combat vehicles equipped with machine guns and cannons to the Saudis, according to The Globe and Mail.

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