‘What are we? A banana republic?’: Saudi Arabia wants apology from Canada over diplomatic row – National

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Saudi Arabia‘s overseas minister requested Canada to apologize for demanding the discharge of Saudi girls’s rights activists and cease treating the dominion as “a banana republic” if it needed to resolve a diplomatic dispute between the 2 nations.

In August, Saudi Arabia froze new commerce with Canada, blocked grain imports, expelled Canada’s ambassador and ordered all Saudi college students house after Ottawa known as for the discharge of activists detained for urging extra rights for ladies.

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Canadian Overseas Minister Chrystia Freeland stated on Tuesday she hoped to fulfill along with her Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir this week on the sidelines of the United Nations Common Meeting.

“It’s outrageous from our perspective nation will sit there and lecture us and make calls for … We demand the instant launch and independence of Quebec, granting of equal rights to Canadian Indians. What on earth are you speaking about?,” al-Jubeir stated on the Council on Overseas Relations in New York on Wednesday night time.

“You possibly can criticize us about human rights, girls’s rights … others do and that’s your proper. You possibly can sit down and discuss it, however demand the instant launch? What are we a banana republic? Would any nation settle for it? No! We don’t,” al-Jubeir stated.

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The dispute arose from Canada’s criticism over the arrests, together with that of outstanding girls’s rights campaigner Samar Badawi. Her brother Raif Badawi, a outstanding blogger, is serving a 10-year sentence and has been publicly flogged for expressing dissenting opinions on-line. His spouse and youngsters reside in Canada and are Canadian residents.

Quite a few girls’s rights activists, who campaigned for the best to drive and an finish to the dominion’s male guardianship system, have been focused in a authorities crackdown in current months, human rights’ teams say.


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“We don’t need to be a political soccer in Canada’s home politics. Discover one other ball to play with. It’s very straightforward to repair. Apologize and say you made a mistake,” al-Jubeir stated.

Freeland stated on Tuesday that Ottawa wouldn’t be altering its basic place.

“Canada will all the time arise for human rights … we really feel a selected obligation to girls who’re combating for his or her rights world wide,” she stated. “And we really feel a selected obligation to individuals who have a private connection to Canada.”

Germany and Saudi Arabia agreed earlier this week to finish a diplomatic dispute. The spat began final November when Germany’s overseas minister on the time, Sigmar Gabriel, condemned “adventurism” within the Center East, feedback seen as an assault on more and more assertive Saudi insurance policies, notably in Yemen.

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