Canada asks two nations for help resolving diplomatic row with Saudis

Galtero Lara
Agosto 10, 2018

Riyadh also said it will relocate thousands of Saudi students studying in Canada to other countries, while state airline Saudia announced it was suspending flights to Toronto.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Faisal has said that Pakistan was following with vast concern the "crisis" in relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada, and also that Pakistan, "places on record its solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".

"Pakistan stands by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in protecting its sovereignty as a matter of principle and based on the historic and brotherly relations between our two countries", Dr. Faisal added.

The statement added that Pakistan supports the sovereignty of countries and the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries, citing the United Nations agreements, particularly, the worldwide sovereignty law, as stating the respect of sovereignty and non-interference to enhance peaceful and friendly relations among countries.

'Both these aspects are enshrined in UN Charter and are among the basic tenets of worldwide law, and the foundation of peaceful and friendly inter-state relations, ' he added.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to extend an olive branch on Wednesday, saying he would keep pressing Saudi Arabia on civil liberties but also saying the Gulf Arab state had made some progress on human rights.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood firm, saying: "Canada will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights ... at home and overseas, wherever we see the need".

The Saudi Ambassador to Canada said in an interview with al Arabiya television on Thursday that Trudeau's comments were positive, but more needed to be done. "They need to resolve it together", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing on Wednesday.

The Saudi government took strong exception to the Canadian criticism of the treatment of rights activists in the Kingdom and expelled Canada's ambassador besides recalling its own ambassador from Ottawa.

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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