Canada seeks UAE mediation to defuse Saudi Arabia row

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 10, 2018

The photo was posted after tensions between Saudi Arabia and Canada erupted this week over the the Trudeau government's call to release jailed Saudi women's rights activists.

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's emerging young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada.

Saudi Arabia also called backed its ambassador from Ottawa and ordered Canada's chief envoy out of the country.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Beirut says the surprise expulsion of the Canadian ambassador highlights the increasingly aggressive - and at times erratic - foreign policy being pursued by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Canada's remarks are "an affront to the kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty", the Ministry said in the news release.

Cairo's foreign ministry said on its Facebook page that it was "concerned by the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Canada, which is a result of the negative tendency by some worldwide. sides of meddling in the internal affairs of countries in the region", without elaborating.

Among those reportedly still being held, in addition to Badawai, are Hatoon al-Fassi, a leading voice for women's participation in civil life; human rights defender Khaled al-Omair; women's rights activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Nouf Abdulaziz and Mayaa al-Zahrani; Ms Hathloul's 80-year-old lawyer, Ibrahim al-Modaimeegh; and the activist Abdulaziz Meshaal.

Among those recently arrested is women's rights activist Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif Badawi was detained back in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for his criticism of Islamic clerics.

Saudi investments in Canada include G3 Global Holdings Ltd., a joint venture between Bunge Ltd. and Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Co., which purchased the former Canadian Wheat Board in 2015. Much of that was tanks, armored personnel carriers and motor vehicles.

On Monday, Freeland doubled down on the position by saying Canadians expect their government's foreign policy to be guided by their values.

"After "disciplining" domestic critics through warnings & arrests (Saudi Arabia is) seeking to use economic leverage & diplomatic actions to discipline foreign critics as well", tweeted Kristin Diwan, of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. "We can´t do it for them; they need to resolve it together", U. S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing. "I think she has done a fantastic job at pointing out the obvious", Fuhr said. But so far, America's northern neighbor is sticking to its guns-no matter how many plane memes Saudi Arabia sends their way. "The first Canadian source said Ottawa had no regrets about speaking out on human rights in Saudi Arabia".

"There are geopolitics at play, particularly the strategic and theocratic rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran".

"There is a clear, uniquely Saudi dimension to this in the sense that in the last three years Saudi Arabia has been behaving very aggressively and assertively in the Middle East", he said, noting the blockade of Qatar and the war in Yemen.

It also has 216 medical residents and fellows from Saudi Arabia who are being trained in hospitals affiliated with the university under a long-standing program.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE