Saudi Arabia has ousted the ambassador of Canada out of the country and froze new trade deals with the country to retaliate against the following dispute over the Canadian government’s statements over human-right violation in Saudi.
All this took place when Chrystia Freeland, the Foreign Affairs Minister, and her department, called on the Saudi officials to release civil-rights activists which, in turn, signaled concerns over the new crackdown in the country.
Last week, the government of Canada publically took the Saudis to task after they arrested two women-right activists, the latest in the crackdown on journalists, clerics and activists.
In the public statements released on Sunday, Riyadh gives Dennis Horak, the Canadian ambassador, 24 hours to leave the country and recall all of its envoys. He also stated that all new investment transactions and new businesses with Canada will be put on hold, all while retaining its right to take an action further.
Riyadh explained that the criticism that came from the Canadian Department for affairs was an interference in Saudi Arabia’s domestic affairs, which was against all international protocols and norms. It has also an unacceptable and major affront to Saudi Arabia’s judicial and law processes, as well as a strict violation of the country’s sovereignty.
Saudi Arabia also warned Canada that any more signs of criticism will be dealt with as a license to interfere with Canada’s internal affairs. This meant that any further step by the Canadian government will be considered as an acknowledgement by Saudi Arabia to interfere with their domestic affairs.
The trade between Saudi Arabia and Canada had exceeded more than $4 billion in 2017. A significant portion of this amount came out from a multi-billion deal to sell combat vehicles that are equipped with cannons and machine guns to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is one of Canada’s biggest customers in the Gulf region. Additionally, more than 15,000 Saudi students attend Canadian universities and schools.