Canada asks for help in Saudi dispute

Canada asks for help in Saudi dispute

The Minister of Civil Service, Sulaiman Bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan, who also heads the Training and Scholarship Committee - an affiliate of his ministry, explained that the committee's secretariat has been working 24 hours a day to provide support for Saudi missions overseas to help the smooth transfer of those on scholarship in Canada to other countries and universities. On Wednesday, Saudi state media said the kingdom has nevertheless also stopped all medical treatment programs in Canada and was working on transferring all Saudi patients there to other countries.

The Saudi foreign ministry called the statement "a major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process".

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

Tensions have been high since Monday, when Riyadh expelled Canada's ambassador, recalled its own envoy and froze all new trade and investments after Ottawa denounced a crackdown on rights activists in Saudi Arabia.

The International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) based in Frankfurt said that Germany and the European Union must not remain passive in the dispute, German Press Agency dpa reported Friday.

The EU has been seeking clarifications from Saudi authorities on the circumstances around the arrests of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia since the first arrests in May, Kocinjancic told reporters.

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"We are studying the possible implications of this situation and its possible impact on current or proposed transactions between SNC-Lavalin Group companies and customers controlled by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", the company said.

At the same time, Trudeau explained that the diplomatic talks with Riyadh would continue, "but without taking a single step back from the criticism of the Foreign Minister regarding the arrest of Saudi activists".

He estimated 10 per cent of Canada's energy products come from Saudi Arabia.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi", Freeland tweeted. "We can't do it for them, they need to resolve it together", Nauert said in a briefing.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. "I respect the rights of individual countries to make the right decisions and speak for themselves".

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