Saudi Arabia Recalls Ambassador, Expels Canadian Ambassador and Freezes New Trade

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Two days after Canada criticized the arrests made in the Arab kingdom of the civil society activists, Saudi Arabia said Canada’s ambassador Dennis Horak was not welcome in the country. Horak was urged to leave the country within 24 hours. They also summoned back the Saudi ambassador to Ottawa, declaring that:

“The Kingdom will put on hold all new business and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action.”

Their response was tweeted last night by the foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia, accusing Canada of interfering in their internal affairs:

“The Canadian position is a grave and unacceptable violation of the Kingdom’s laws and procedures. In addition to violate the Kingdom’s judiciary and a breach of the principle of sovereignty.”

The ministry adds that this interference is an “attack on the KSA and requires a firm stance to deter who attempts to undermine the sovereignty of the KSA.”

Canada Is Gravely Concerned About the Recent Arrests

On 3 August, Global Affairs Canada gave a statement, in which said that it was “gravely concerned” about the arrests of “civil society and women’s rights activists,” calling for the Saudi government to release them immediately.

The response from the Saudi government was that nations “need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the Kingdom over its own citizens.”

According to Amnesty International, the arrest of Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sada were only a few of the women’s rights activists that have been targeted for the past months. Lynn Maalouf, the Middle East research director at Amnesty International, stated that:

“These brave women represented the last vestiges of the human rights community in the country, and now they too have been detained.”

A spokesperson for Minister Chrystia Freeland explained that they are very “concerned by these media reports and are seeking greater clarity on the recent statement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Giorgio Cafiero, the CEO of Gulf State Analytics – which is a risk consultancy from Washington, explains that this message was not just sent to Ottawa, but to all countries in the world who criticizes Saudi Arabia – a message that “has consequences.”

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere