Canada not considering retaliation against Saudi Arabia, says FM Bill Morneau

Image: twitter.com/Bill_Morneau

Canada not considering retaliation against Saudi Arabia, says FM Bill Morneau

India Blooms News Service | 10 Aug 2018

Ottawa, Aug 10 (IBNS): Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said his government is not considering any retaliatory measure against Saudi Arabia, which severed  diplomatic ties with the North American country owing to its interference in internal matters of the Middle Eastern country, media reports said.

Last week, Canada had expressed grave concern about the arrest of human rights activists, including Saudi-American women's rights campaigner Samar Badawi, by Saudi authorities.

Demanding release of the activists, Canada's Foreign Ministry had tweeted: "Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists."

Responding to Canada's request, Saudi Arabia said it was an attack on the kingdom and had granted the Canadian ambassador 24 hours after considering the latter persona non grata.

Morneau has been quoted by CTV News as saying, "We're paying close attention to this situation, of course, because we wanted to understand the impacts."

"We're not considering any responses."

But Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau clarified that the country will also not be lenient on humanitarian issues.

Trudeau was earlier quoted by CTV News as saying, "We have always had a positive and constructive relationship with countries around the world while at the same time always making sure we’re bringing up human rights concerns, because Canadians expect that, and indeed people around the world expect that leadership from Canada."

"We will continue, we will do so in a constructive and polite way but we will also remain firm on standing up for human rights everywhere around the world."

Escalating tension between the two countries, Saudi Arabia had issued orders to eliminate new Canadian investments, Financial Times reported.

The Saudi government also asked all its countrymen residing in Canadian hospitals to leave the North American country.

Earlier, Saudi Ministry of Education spokesperson Mubarak Alosaimi tweeted to say that he had been instructed to stop all education programmes including scholarship, training programmes and fellowships in Canada.

The Saudi Arabian Cultural in Canada said on Twitter that students, who are studying at their own expenses or government's funds, must stop studying in Canada at the end of the lunal year, CTV News reported.

Saudi Arabia has also suspended its airline operations in Canada.

In a tweet, Saudi Airlines said the air route between the two countries will cease to function in a matter of days.

"All Saudia flights from/to Toronto, Canada will be suspended starting from 13 Aug 2018" the tweet has been quoted by CTV News.

(Reporting by Suman Das)

Image: twitter.com/Bill_Morneau

Canada not considering retaliation against Saudi Arabia, says FM Bill Morneau

India Blooms News Service
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