Canada’s PM: We will not apologise to Saudi Arabia
13 August, 2018, 03:31 | Author: Wade Massey
A trip package can cost around CAN$15,000 and Omar Alghabra of the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry said there is a lot of "legitimate anxiety".
Tensions have been high between the two countries since Monday after Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted to demand release of women's rights activist Samar Badawi. It has since recalled thousands of Saudi students studying in Canada, moved to transfer any Saudi patients out of Canadian hospitals and barred the import of Canadian wheat.
Algeria on Thursday expressed its concern about the repercussions of the crisis in relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada, calling for respect for the sovereignty of States and non-interference in their internal affairs.
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".
Meanwhile, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties has announced its support and participation in the efforts being exerted by the concerned committees to address the situation of Saudi students on scholarship in Canada.
Canada's public call for the kingdom to "immediately release" jailed human rights activists angered Saudi Arabia and the kingdom took punitive action, including canceling all flights to and from Toronto, beginning August 13. Trudeau noted that Freeland had "a long conversation" on Tuesday with her counterpart Al Jubeir to try to resolve the dispute.
Saudi Arabia has a legal system based on Islamic Sharia Law derived from the Qur'an and Sunnah has been harshly criticised for its treatment of women and minorities.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017.
"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.
But several of those going say they used a contact number provided by the airline, but there was no answer when they telephoned.
Trudeau said that although his country appreciates the "importance" of Saudi Arabia in the world, it would continue to speak "clearly and firmly about human rights issues in the country and abroad" whenever needed.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported that Saudi Arabia was scaling back its dealings with some German companies amid a diplomatic spat with Berlin.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won't be scared off that easily.
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