Canada Ottawa was surprised by Saudi Arabia’s angry reaction to its human rights concerns

06:31  11 august  2018
06:31  11 august  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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.

How did Saudi Arabia react ? The ultraconservative kingdom did not take the tweet lightly. In a series of angry tweets on Sunday, the Saudi foreign ministry criticized Why the quick, harsh reaction ? Saudi Arabia has always been hypersensitive to criticism of human rights , according to Braun.

In his first comments since the crisis with Saudi Arabia blew up over the weekend, Trudeau was unbowed by the sharp reaction from the kingdom’ s leaders who seem determined to make Canada pay an economic price for raising human rights concerns .

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks at a press conference in Vancouver on Aug. 6, 2018 just after the start of a diplomatic firestorm with the Saudi government. Tweets sent by Freeland and her department prompted Saudi leaders to accuse Canada of “blatant” interference in the kingdom’s affairs. © JIMMY JEONG Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks at a press conference in Vancouver on Aug. 6, 2018 just after the start of a diplomatic firestorm with the Saudi government. Tweets sent by Freeland and her department prompted Saudi leaders to accuse Canada of “blatant” interference in the kingdom’s affairs.

OTTAWA—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.

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 US, which claims to be an advocate of human rights in the world, has yet to support Canada in its tension with Saudi Arabia . However, Trudeau said he cannot “impose on other countries what their responses and reaction should be .”

If you're surprised by Saudi Arabia ' s fight with Canada, you haven't been paying attention. (CNN) What began with a statement of concern over human rights has ballooned into the biggest diplomatic feud in years between Canada and Saudi Arabia .

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.

Yet Canada has been voicing concerns broadly about human rights in Saudi Arabia and specifically on the case of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi “and our stated concern that it’s inconsistent with their commitment to reform,” a senior official told the Star Friday.

“This is going back months,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

“It is interesting to see this reaction now, given that this is not necessarily new,” the official said.

Canada not clear yet on Saudi retaliation

  Canada not clear yet on Saudi retaliation OTTAWA - A federal official says Canada remains unclear about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking in response to Canadian criticism of its human rights policies. The official says Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with her Saudi counterpart Tuesday in part to get clarity about the measures, including one report that said Saudi banks and pension funds had been ordered to sell off their Canadian assets. Saudi Arabia has not confirmed that report, and the official — who spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter — says a full understanding of their plans remains elusive.

The unusually strong reaction shows that Saudi Arabia , under the day-to-day leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is willing to wield its The State Department, in its annual human rights report, has frequently criticized Saudi Arabia on similar grounds to those stated by Canada.

OTTAWA — Saudi Arabia has cancelled flights to Toronto by its national airline and halted purchases of Canadian wheat and barley as it ramps up retaliation for Ottawa ’ s criticism of its human rights and detention of activists.

For example, at a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation in Bangladesh in May, Freeland held a bilateral meeting with her Saudi counterpart, foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir, and those topics were part of their discussions then and in a follow-up phone call several weeks later, the official said.

Read more:

On Saudi Arabia, Canada’s stance is principled — but conflicted

Determined diplomacy needed to mend relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia, experts say

What Canada’s Saudi episode tells us about our world

Trudeau has been talking about the case of Badawi for several years, telling reporters in 2016 for example, that he was concerned and was ensuring that then-foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion was doing everything he could to get him released.

In the Commons, Liberal, Conservative and New Democrat MPs have spoken out about Badawi’s case. In April, Liberal MP Omar Alghabra (Mississauga Centre), parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, told MPs the government was raising it “at the highest level.”

Canada waiting for details from Saudi Arabia: Freeland

  Canada waiting for details from Saudi Arabia: Freeland Canada waiting for details from Saudi Arabia: FreelandVANCOUVER - Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Ottawa will have to wait to hear more details from Saudi Arabia before it responds to the country's decision to freeze new trade deals and expel Canada's ambassador.

Concern has been raised that the Saudi Arabian government has, in some cases, been using the vehicles against its own citizens. “I think there is obviously inconsistency,” Neve said. “I also know that that’ s the world we live in when it comes to human rights diplomacy.”

Saudi Arabia surprised most observers by reacting in a disproportionately fierce manner to Canada’ s criticism of its recent arrest of a women’ s rights The official condemnation of Ottawa ’ s actions also said that Saudi Arabia “categorically rejects any intervention in its domestic affairs and internal

That same month, Trudeau spoke with King Salman bin Abdulaziz about the relationship between the two countries, domestic reforms in Saudi Arabia and the “importance of respecting human rights and freedom of speech,” according to a read-out released by the prime minister’s office. Trudeau also expressed his “serious concern” with Badawi’s detention, the read-out said.

The tweets that sparked this week’s diplomatic spat concerned the recent arrests of activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi, the sister of Raif. “We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists,” the foreign affairs department tweeted on Aug. 3.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had already voiced its own concern with a spokesperson urging Saudi Arabia to “unconditionally release all human rights defenders and activists who have been detained for their peaceful human rights work.”

But two days later, Canada was in Saudi Arabia’s crosshairs in an angry condemnation of Ottawa’s comments. It declared that Dennis Horak, Canada’s ambassador in Riyadh, was persona non grata and put a freeze on future trade and investment between the two countries.

Canadian dollar gets whacked after Saudi Arabia reportedly starts dumping the country's assets 'no matter the cost'

  Canadian dollar gets whacked after Saudi Arabia reportedly starts dumping the country's assets 'no matter the cost' The Canadian dollar slid Wednesday after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia had begun selling off its holdings of the country's bonds, stocks, and cash.According to the FT's Simeon Kerr, Saudi Arabia ordered the divestments "no matter the cost" after Canada criticised its arrest of Samar Badawi, a women's rights activist. Saudi central bank and state pension funds told their overseas asset managers to unload Canadian bonds, stocks, and cash holdings "no matter the cost," the report said. The selling began on Tuesday, it said.

Saudi Arabia surprised most observers by reacting in a disproportionately fierce manner to Canada' s criticism of its recent arrest of a women' s rights The official condemnation of Ottawa ' s actions also said that Saudi Arabia "categorically rejects any intervention in its domestic affairs and internal

Canada said Monday it is "seriously concerned " after Saudi Arabia announced it is expelling Ottawa ' s ambassador and recalling its own envoy in protest "Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights , very much including women' s rights , and freedom of expression around the world.

Freeland spoke with al-Jubeir on Tuesday in a long conversation described as “professional” as both officials laid out their respective concerns.

“It’s important from our perspective to be able to engage in dialogue with them and certainly they were very willing to take our call. A dialogue is open,” the Canadian official said.

Freeland used that discussion to “seek clarity” around Saudi concerns and “chart a path forward.” But she also reiterated “quite clearly” Canada’s position “that it can and should speak out about human rights, both in public and in private,” the official said.

The two are expected to speak again though no call has yet been scheduled.

Freeland has also reached out to officials in Germany and Sweden — two other countries that also have had diplomatic tiffs with Saudi Arabia — to hear firsthand about their experience.

Bruce Campion-Smith is the Star's Ottawa bureau chief and a reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier

Canada an 'easy' target for Saudi Arabia: analysts .
OTTAWA - Analysts say Saudi Arabia's decision to expel Canada's ambassador and freeze new trade deals will resonate in the region and rally support domestically. Saudi Arabia announced the measures Sunday, days after Global Affairs Canada tweeted that it's concerned about the arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in the country.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-87483-ottawa-was-surprised-by-saudi-arabia-s-angry-reaction-to-its-human-rights-concerns/

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