Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

  • Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

In a series of tweets, the Saudi foreign ministry said it was expelling the USA ambassador and recalling its own envoy in Canada. Riyadh is also freezing all new trade and investment deals with Canada.

In its long history, Saudi Arabia has not and will not accept intervention in its internal affairs or impose dictates on it from any country.

The Saudis warned in a statement that any more criticism will be interpreted as licence to meddle in Canadian affairs.

"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", the statement reads.

Representatives for Canada's foreign department didn't respond to a request for comment.

Saudi Arabia has frozen all trade/investment developments with Canada. The Canadian position is an attack on Saudi Arabia that requires a firm stance towards it.

Badawi and another high-profile Saudi women's rights activist, Nassima al-Sadah, were arrested in the kingdom last week, sparking an global outcry.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi", she wrote on Twitter.

Amnesty International said the arrest of Samar Badawi and another prominent female activist, Nassima al-Sada, was part of a larger crackdown on human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia said Monday it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and had recalled its envoy while freezing all new trade, in protest at Ottawa's vigorous calls for the release of jailed activists.

Riyadh's expulsion of the Canadian ambassador was meant to send a strong message to other critical Western governments, observers say.

His wife and three children live in Quebec and became Canadian citizens last month. Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Sweden and Stockholm cancelled a defence agreement with the Saudis.

In April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his "serious concern" over the continued jailing of Badawi to Saudi King Salman.

"Using the phrase "immediately release" in the Canadian statement is very unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states", the ministry tweeted.