Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador over call to free women's rights activists

Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador over call to free women's rights activistsSaudi Arabia has ordered the expulsion of Canada’s ambassador and frozen trade with the country after it criticised the recent arrest of women’s rights activists. Canadian diplomats on Friday said Ottawa was “gravely concerned” about the arrests and called for the activists’ immediate release. Saudi Arabia responded on Monday by saying it would “not accept any interference in its internal affairs”, ordered the Canadian ambassador to leave within 24 hours and said it would be recalling its own ambassador. “Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs,” Saudi’s foreign ministry said in the unusually aggressive statement to its ally. “Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the kingdom over its own citizens.” Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman is leading an aggressive Saudi foreign policy Credit: AFP The foreign ministry also said it would freeze “all new business” between the kingdom and Canada. Some 10 per cent of Canadian crude oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. The ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom arrested two more women’s rights activists last week, including Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for criticising clerics. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, is now living in Canada. Marie-Pier Baril, a spokeswoman for Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, said they were “seriously concerned” by Saudi Arabia’s actions. “Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women’s rights, and freedom of expression around the world,” she said in a statement. “Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy.” Almost immediately after the news, Saudi Twitter accounts began tweeting similarly phrased messages of their “concern” for Canada’s own treatment of First Nation members and the need for Quebec to gain independence. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been praised for pushing through reforms in recent months, which include lifting the ban on women driving in the kingdom. However, more than a dozen prominent rights activists were arrested before the day came in June and accused of illegal contact with “foreign entities”. Analysts said the decision to expel Canada’s ambassador was likely to have been taken by the Saudi government to send the message that while the once-closed kingdom is beginning to open up to the world it will not tolerate criticism on its human rights. “No one should interpret this as a tantrum from Riyadh,” said H A Hellyer, senior research fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Royal United Services Institute in London. “It is far more likely to be a calculated move, designed to establish a new litmus test internationally for continued relations with Saudi Arabia. The question is whether or not everyone will buckle – or refuse.” The diplomatic move may be part of the crown prince’s aggressive foreign policy, which since his father took the throne in 2015 has seen Saudi intervene in the conflict in neighbouring Yemen and pressure Lebanon’s prime minister into resigning. Canada has also previously criticised Riyadh for its blockade in war-torn Yemen, which left millions on the brink of starvation. Germany similarly has found itself targeted by the kingdom in recent months over comments by its officials on the Saudi-led war. It is not immediately clear what new business could be affected between Canada and Saudi . Bilateral trade between the two nations reached $3 billion in 2016, with tanks and fighting vehicles among the top Canadian exports to the kingdom, according to government statistics. Saudi is the Canadian defence industry’s biggest client outside of the United States.


Source: Yahoo! News

Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador over call to free women's rights activists

Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador over call to free women's rights activistsSaudi Arabia has ordered the expulsion of Canada’s ambassador and frozen trade with the country after it criticised the recent arrest of women’s rights activists. Canadian diplomats on Friday said Ottawa was “gravely concerned” about the arrests and called for the activists’ immediate release. Saudi Arabia responded on Monday by saying it would “not accept any interference in its internal affairs”, ordered the Canadian ambassador to leave within 24 hours and said it would be recalling its own ambassador. “Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs,” Saudi’s foreign ministry said in the unusually aggressive statement to its ally. “Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the kingdom over its own citizens.” Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman is leading an aggressive Saudi foreign policy Credit: AFP The foreign ministry also said it would freeze “all new business” between the kingdom and Canada. Some 10 per cent of Canadian crude oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. The ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom arrested two more women’s rights activists last week, including Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for criticising clerics. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, is now living in Canada. Marie-Pier Baril, a spokeswoman for Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, said they were “seriously concerned” by Saudi Arabia’s actions. “Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women’s rights, and freedom of expression around the world,” she said in a statement. “Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy.” Almost immediately after the news, Saudi Twitter accounts began tweeting similarly phrased messages of their “concern” for Canada’s own treatment of First Nation members and the need for Quebec to gain independence. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been praised for pushing through reforms in recent months, which include lifting the ban on women driving in the kingdom. However, more than a dozen prominent rights activists were arrested before the day came in June and accused of illegal contact with “foreign entities”. Analysts said the decision to expel Canada’s ambassador was likely to have been taken by the Saudi government to send the message that while the once-closed kingdom is beginning to open up to the world it will not tolerate criticism on its human rights. “No one should interpret this as a tantrum from Riyadh,” said H A Hellyer, senior research fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Royal United Services Institute in London. “It is far more likely to be a calculated move, designed to establish a new litmus test internationally for continued relations with Saudi Arabia. The question is whether or not everyone will buckle – or refuse.” The diplomatic move may be part of the crown prince’s aggressive foreign policy, which since his father took the throne in 2015 has seen Saudi intervene in the conflict in neighbouring Yemen and pressure Lebanon’s prime minister into resigning. Canada has also previously criticised Riyadh for its blockade in war-torn Yemen, which left millions on the brink of starvation. Germany similarly has found itself targeted by the kingdom in recent months over comments by its officials on the Saudi-led war. It is not immediately clear what new business could be affected between Canada and Saudi . Bilateral trade between the two nations reached $3 billion in 2016, with tanks and fighting vehicles among the top Canadian exports to the kingdom, according to government statistics. Saudi is the Canadian defence industry’s biggest client outside of the United States.


Source: Yahoo! News

Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador after Ottawa criticizes arrests of Saudi activists

  1. Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador after Ottawa criticizes arrests of Saudi activists  Washington Post
  2. Saudis expel Canadian envoy, freeze new trade deals over tweets about rights activist  CNN
  3. Saudis in row with Canada over women’s rights activists’ arrests  CBS News
  4. Saudi Arabia freezes trade relations with Canada  gulfnews.com
  5. Full coverage


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US expels Venezuelan diplomats as election row escalates

  1. US expels Venezuelan diplomats as election row escalates  CNN
  2. Pence vows ‘swift response’ to expulsion of US diplomat from Venezuela  Politico
  3. Venezuela’s Maduro swift to act days after election victory  ABC News
  4. Venezuela needs a new government after rigged election keep socialist criminal Maduro in power  Fox News
  5. The US Can Save Venezuela From Anarchy  Bloomberg
  6. Full coverage


Source: Google News