Eli Ridder | Report
The Canadian envoy to Saudi Arabia has been given 24 hours to leave the country, and the Saudi ambassador has been recalled, according to a Sunday report by the Saudi Press Agency, and froze all new trade and investment deals with Canada.
It comes after Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her support for the sister of a jailed blogger who was arrested by Saudi authorities last week.
In a statement issued by the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry, Riyadh slams as “totally false” allegations by the Canadian authorities that recent arrests of several activists were unwarranted.
It says the arrests were made by “the competent authorities” and the detainees were provided with all the rights guaranteed during investigative and trail stages.
The ministry denounces Canada’s stance as “explicit interference in the internal affairs” of the kingdom that runs “contrary to the most basic international norms and charters that govern relations between countries, as well as “negative and surprising.”
Besides putting on hold “all new trade and investment transactions with Canada,” the ministry said that the ultra-conservative kingdom, that has drawn stark criticism from human righst group for its crackdown on dissent, “retains the right to take further action.”