Saskatoon ambulance manufacturer caught up in Saudi dispute

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"Diplomatic talks continue", he said.

Tensions have been high between Canada and Saudi Arabia since Monday when Riyadh expelled Canada's ambassador, recalled its own envoy and froze all new trade and investments.

Further straining ties, the Saudi central bank has instructed its overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost", the Financial Times reported.

Kate Toogood, a spokesperson for the Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt, said the ministry is working with post-secondary institutions to assess the impact of Saudi Arabia's decision on Alberta schools.

"We do not wish to have poor relations with Saudi Arabia", he added, saying Ottawa recognizes that Riyadh "has made progress when it comes to human rights".

He added: "Canadians have always expected our government to speak firmly, decisively and politely about the need to respect human rights around the world".

The senior official, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the diplomacy, said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had spoken with her counterparts in the two European nations.

Since May, the kingdom has also led an "unprecedented government crackdown" on activists, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

"The current diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Canada will not, in any way, impact Saudi Aramco's relations with its customers in Canada".

APK-Inform said a recent decision by Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency to avoid buying Canadian wheat and barley in its worldwide tenders, due to a political dispute, could also enable Ukraine to sell more to Saudi.

"We should lead by example with them, not sort of bludgeon our trading partners with our Canadian principles".

The intensity of Saudi Arabia's response has puzzled many, who say it is an extreme reaction to a relatively tame tweet that isn't much different from what Canada has said before.

Statistics presented to the Foreign Affairs Department show that in 2016, there were about 15,000 Saudi Arabian students studying in either short-term or long-term Canadian academic programs, representing about three per cent of all foreign students in Canada.

The move came after Germany's foreign minister last November remarked that Lebanon was a "pawn" of Saudi Arabia after the surprise resignation of its Prime Minister Saad Hariri while in Riyadh.

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