Saudi Arabia rules out mediation in Canada row, mulls new measures

Adjust Comment Print

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed a man by crucifixion in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday, while it was trying to attack Canada on its human rights record.

The dispute broke out after the Canadian government called on the Saudis to release arrested civil-rights activists and signalled concern at a new crackdown in the country.

Saudi Arabia's national airline suspended flights to and from Toronto on Tuesday.

Media reports also suggest Saudi Arabia may cancel thousands of scholarships for students attending school in Canada. "We have always said that the politicization of human rights matters is unacceptable", Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

Then on Tuesday, Saudi authorities announced they would halt all medical treatment programs in Canada and transfer Saudi patients to hospitals outside the country.

Jubeir added that the kingdom was still "considering additional measures" against Canada.

The Financial Times reported Wednesday that Saudi officials have ordered the country's asset managers to sell off their Canadian assets "no matter the cost" - a clear sign the kingdom is willing to accept losses on the sales.

Saudi Arabia expels Canadian envoy, recalls its own over 'interference'
More than a dozen women's rights activists have been targeted since May. The Saudi foreign ministry voiced anger over the Canadian statement .

The U.S. State Department has urged Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve their escalating feud.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry took exception to the wording of the tweet, calling it an attempt by Canada to interfere with the country's internal affairs.

Since rising to power in 2015, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has courted Western allies by offering to buy billions of dollars worth of arms.

"Saudi Arabia simply can not afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran", commentator Jamal Khashoggi wrote in the Washington Post. Annual Saudi-Canadian trade hovers around $4bn.

Travel to the country will also be affected in light of an announcement from Saudia Airlines on Tuesday that it will suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13.

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in worldwide tenders, European traders said.

Comments