Saturday, 23 Mar 2019

Diplomatic relation between Canada and Saudi Arabia is worsening due to a tweet of one of Canada ministers


Chrystia FreelandChrystia Freeland - The diplomatic crisis between Canada and Saudi Arabia is getting worse. Riyadh announces to stop all flights to Canada and freeze all of economic cooperation. The trigger was a "tweet" of the Canadian foreign minister regarding the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.

A Twitter message from Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland on Thursday last week sparked the anger of Royal Family in Riyadh. Canadian Foreign Minister criticized the arrest of a number of women activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi, sister of blogger Raif Badawi.

Famous bloggers who are now in prison in Saudi Arabia, because of the accusation of "insulting Islam" are the winners of the DW-Freedom of Speech Award, while the wives of Raif Badawi, Ensaf Haidar and their three children, recently received Canadian citizenship.

In her message via Twittter, Canadian Foreign Minister, Freeland appealed to the government in Riyadh to free Raif and Samar Badawi. Saudi Arabian government has been arrested dozens of women rights activists in recent weeks on charges of undermining national security and cooperating with foreign enemies.

As reaction to criticism of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia on Monday, July 6th 2018  declared "persona non grata" or expelling Canadian ambassador in Riyadh, Denis Horak and gave him 24 hours to leave Middle East country. At the same time, Riyadh also recalled its ambassador from Canada.

Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that this Canadian criticism was an intervention in the internal affairs of other countries, which violated all diplomatic norms and protocols. Riyadh also froze all economic and investment cooperation with Ottawa.

The crisis has intensified, after the airline, Saudia Airlines announced, starting next week to stop all flights to Toronto, Canada. Also thousands of students from Saudi Arabia who are currently studying in Canada will be relocated to other countries, as the affirmation of the foreign ministry in Riyadh.


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