Saudi diplomatic row

Envoy expelled, flights cancelled | 10 developments on Canada-Saudi diplomatic row

The diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Canada continues with no signs of reconciliation.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday reiterated that he would keep pressing Saudi Arabia on issues of civil liberties. On the other hand, infuriated over Canada, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said there is no room for mediation.

Relations between the two countries soured last week after Canada demanded that Saudi Arabia should immediately release jailed civil rights activists. Since then, diplomatic ties between the two countries have gone for a toss with Saudi Arabia asking the Canadian ambassador to leave the country at once.


 1) On Friday, Canada had expressed concern over arrests of civil rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including prominent women’s rights campaigner Samar Badawi. Her brother is serving a 10-year sentence. He was also publicly flogged for writing dissenting opinions on his blog. His wife and children are Canadian citizens and live in Canada.

2) Angered over Canada’s demand, Saudi Arabia on Sunday asked the Canadian ambassador to leave the country at once. It has also asked its envoy in Canada to return.

3) The country has said it won’t go ahead with any new trade with Canada.

4) Saudi Arabia has stopped sending patients to Canadian hospitals and told hundreds of trainee doctors to leave Canada with only a weeks’ notice. The two countries have a 40-year-old agreement under which Canada trains medical specialists for Saudi Arabia.

5) Saudi authorities have also suspended educational exchanges, and moved Saudi scholars to other countries. Saudi’s state airline has said it is suspending all flights to and from Toronto.

6) On Tuesday, news agency Reuters reported that Canada was planning to seek help from its allies-the UK and the UAE-to defuse the diplomatic row. Not much seems to have progressed in this direction so far.

7) Saudi Arabia’s main state wheat-buying agency has reportedly told grains exporters that it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in international tenders.

8) The Financial Times has reported that Saudi central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings.

9) Meanwhile, in a positive sign, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has said the ongoing dispute will not affect state oil firm Aramco’s clients in Canada.

10) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau too on Wednesday mildly softened his stand and said Saudi Arabia has made efforts to improve human rights scenario in recent times.




News credit : Indiatoday

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