Saudi Arabia kicks out Canada’s ambassador and halts new trade agreements
By: Sarah Brunner, Xiro Xone News August 6, 2018 Updated: 3:44 PM PT
Saudi Arabia froze all new trade agreements with Canada and demanded their ambassador leave the country within 24 hours.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, raised concerns with the Kingdom about jailed civil rights activists saying, “They should be released.”
The Saudis accused the women activists of “Undermining national security and collaborating with enemies of the state.”
Reuters reported that, “Human Rights Watch said Saudi Arabia had arrested women’s rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, the latest two to be swept up in a government crackdown on activists, clerics and journalists. More than a dozen women’s rights activists have been targeted since May.” They believe the activists are, “Victims of an “unprecedented government crackdown on the women’s rights movement.” One detainee, Samar Badawi, is the sister to Raif Badawi, a Canadian citizen.
The Saudis took issue with the phraseology of the Canadian Foreign Minister’s statement. The KSA Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted the phrase that upset them the most, “We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #human rights activists.”
The Saudi Ministry tweeted, “Using the phrase ‘immediately release’ in the Canadian statement is very unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between States.”
The Saudis recalled their ambassador to Canada and in a statement, stressed their policy of non
intervention when it comes to the internal matters of other countries, and in return, rejected any intervention in its domestic affairs and internal relations with Saudi citizens. They also said, “The freezing of all new trade and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action.”
Freeland’s request prompted a response from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that read: “August 06, 2018, SPA -- Statement from the KSA Ministry of Foreign Affairs”
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been made aware of the statement by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Embassy in the Kingdom, on the so-called civil society activists who have been detained, urging Saudi authorities to release them immediately.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed disbelief by this negative unfounded comment, which was not based in any accurate or true information. The persons referred to were lawfully detained by the Public Prosecution for committing crimes punishable by applicable law, which also guaranteed the detainees’ rights and provided them with due process during the investigation and trial.
The Ministry also affirmed that the Canadian statement is a blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs, against basic international norms and all international protocols. It is a major, unacceptable affront to the Kingdom’s laws and judicial process, as well as a violation of the Kingdom’s sovereignty.
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 Kingdom views the Canadian position as an affront to the Kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty. It is quite unfortunate to see the phrase “immediate release” in the Canadian statement, which is a reprehensible and unacceptable use of language between sovereign states.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - whilst expressing absolute rejection to the Canadian political stand regarding this matter - confirms its commitment to refrain from intervening in the internal matters of other countries, including Canada, and in return categorically rejects any intervention in its domestic affairs and internal relations with its citizens.
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.
Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the Kingdom over its own citizens. Thereby, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recalls the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Canada back to Riyadh for consultation and considers the Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia as Persona-Non-Grata who must leave the Kingdom within the next 24 hours. The Kingdom will put on hold all new business and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action.”