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Weekend Reads Canada needs to 'fix its big mistake,' Saudi minister says as diplomatic spat worsens

00:01  09 august  2018
00:01  09 august  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

  Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador"We consider the Canadian ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia persona non grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours," Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said on Twitter.

" Canada needs to fix its big mistake ." Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says Canada must withdraw its recent criticism of his country's human rights record. (Thomas Peter/Reuters). A subsequent tweet from the Saudi foreign affairs ministry said the country would not "accept dictates"

its big mistake ,' Saudi minister says as diplomatic spat worsens . Video provided by HuffPost Canada . The diplomatic brawl between Canada and Saudi Arabia © Thomas Peter/Reuters Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says Canada must withdraw its recent criticism of his

Video provided by HuffPost Canada

The diplomatic brawl between Canada and Saudi Arabia showed no signs of abating Wednesday as the kingdom's foreign affairs minister publicly demanded that Canada withdraw its criticism of his country's human rights record.

Speaking to reporters in Riyadh, Adel al-Jubeir said there will be no reconciliation between the two countries unless Canada recants its condemnation of Saudi Arabia's decision to jail prominent women's rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah.

Saudi Airlines to suspend Canadian flights

  Saudi Airlines to suspend Canadian flights TORONTO - The rift between the federal government and Saudi Arabia has prompted the country's state airline to suspend operations in Canada. Saudi Airlines issued a tweet early Tuesday saying flights to and from Canada would be suspended starting August 13. Saudi Arabia operates at least two routes to the country, both of which depart from Toronto. Transport Canada did not immediately respond to request for comment on the decision. Saudi Airlines' Saudi Airlines issued a tweet early Tuesday saying flights to and from Canada would be suspended starting August 13.

The diplomatic brawl between Canada and Saudi Arabia showed no signs of abating Wednesday as the kingdom’s foreign affairs minister publicly demanded that Canada withdraw its criticism of his country’s human rights record.

Kingdom's foreign minister says Canada knows what it needs to do to ' fix its big mistake .' Warns that additional measures being considered. Russia sides with Saudi Arabia in diplomatic dispute with Canada . Kremlin says 'unacceptable' to make human rights a political issue.

"Canada knows what it needs to do," he said.

Badawi is the sister of Raif Badawi, a Saudi dissident blogger who has been imprisoned by the Saudi government since 2012 on charges of apostasy and "insulting Islam through electronic channels." Raif Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, and their three children have been living in Quebec since 2015 after fleeing the kingdom.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland sent a tweet last week saying she was alarmed by Badawi's imprisonment and calling for the release of "peaceful" human rights activists — a statement which drew the ire of the Middle Eastern kingdom's governing monarchy.

a man wearing a hat: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says Canada must withdraw its recent criticism of his country's human rights record. © Thomas Peter/Reuters Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says Canada must withdraw its recent criticism of his country's human rights record.

Saudi Arabia: Trudeau says he'll stand firm

  Saudi Arabia: Trudeau says he'll stand firm Saudi Arabia: Trudeau says he'll stand firmTrudeau says he will always take strong and clear positions in private and in public on questions of human rights.

The diplomatic brawl between Canada and Saudi Arabia showed no signs of abating Wednesday as the kingdom's foreign affairs minister publicly demanded that Canada withdraw its criticism of his country's human rights record.

Speaking to reporters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister urged Canada to “ fix its big mistake ” and warned that the Justin Trudeau, Canada ’s prime minister , said Canada was continuing to engage diplomatically Saudi critics jab Canada on Twitter and TV as diplomatic feud deepens.

"A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected," al-Jubeir said Wednesday. "Canada needs to fix its big mistake."

A subsequent tweet from the Saudi foreign affairs ministry said the country would not "accept dictates" or "interference" in its internal affairs from Canada. "Canada must correct its action towards the Kingdom."

"The matter is not about human rights; it is a matter of national security. Saudi Arabia build (sic) relations based on mutual respect, respect for the sovereignty of states and not interfering in the affairs of other countries," one of the Saudi government tweets said.

The comments come as the country — an autocratic state controlled by the House of Saud — recalls Saudi nationals attending Canadian universities and pulls Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals.

The Financial Times reported Wednesday that the country's rulers also have asked asset managers to sell Saudi-owned stakes in Canadian enterprises. The country also will stop purchasing Canadian wheat and barley — a trade move that is not expected to be all that damaging, since Canada hasn't sold any wheat or barley to the kingdom this year.

Saudi Arabia reassures Canada on oil supplies as dispute drags on

  Saudi Arabia reassures Canada on oil supplies as dispute drags on Saudi Arabia reassures Canada on oil supplies as dispute drags onThe world's largest oil exporter has a "firm and long-standing policy" that petroleum supplies are not influenced by political considerations, Khalid al-Falih said in a statement.

Trudeau said Canada ’s foreign minister had held a long conversation with her Saudi counterpart on Tuesday, but offered “ Canada needs to fix its big mistake ,” Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh. “There is nothing to mediate. A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected.”

The diplomatic spat took Canadian officials off guard. They say the tweets by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland protesting the detention of female critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, were hardly unusual and amounted to routine critiquing of the

The kingdom also is considering "other measures," al-Juberi said without elaborating. Saudi Arabia already has expelled the Canadian ambassador.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada told CBC News the department "continues to seek clarity" from the government of Saudi Arabia on "various issues."

"The Embassy's Trade officers, in addition to the wider Trade Commissioner Service, are actively engaged with Canadian business interests and will continue to work with them and the relevant authorities in the coming days," the spokesperson said. "Our government will always support Canadian workers and industries, and defend their interests at home and abroad.‎"

So far, Canada's closest allies — the United States and the United Kingdom — have issued rather tepid statements and are refusing to condemn the Saudi actions.

Heather Nauert, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, said Tuesday the U.S. is urging Canada and Saudi Arabia to use diplomacy to resolve their dispute.

"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can't do it for them, they need to resolve it together," Nauert said in a briefing.

In a written statement, the State Department referred to both Canada and Saudi Arabia as close allies.

Similarly, a spokeswoman for the U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the two countries are "close partners" of the United Kingdom and urged restraint.

"The U.K. is a strong supporter of human rights. We regularly raise our concerns with the Saudi government about human rights issues, including the recent arrests of human rights defenders," the spokeswoman said.

Ottawa was surprised by Saudi Arabia’s angry reaction to its human rights concerns .
Federal officials were caught off guard by Saudi Arabia’s angry response to Ottawa’s social media criticism of the detention of several activists, saying that Canada’s message was little different than what had been conveyed publicly and privately in the past. The tweets sent by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her department set off a diplomatic firestorm that saw Saudi Arabia’s leaders accuse Canada of “blatant” interference in the kingdom’s affairs and react with a series of retaliatory measures.

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