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Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador, freezes all new trade and investment

Saudi Arabia has given the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave and frozen all new trade.

Saudi Arabia had expelled  Canada’s ambassador over alleged intervention in the kingdom’s domestic affairs. According to a report by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Dennis Horak, the  Canadian Ambassador was given 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own envoy to Canada. Saudi Arabia’s  foreign ministry condemned what it called “unacceptable intervention in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,”

The announcement came as a consequence just after a few days Canada demanded the immediate release of rights campaigners detained during a recent series of arrests in Saudi Arabia, including relatives of naturalised Canadian citizens.  Saudi Arabia besides suspended all new trade deals which may worth billions of dollars and recalled its envoy to Canada. The ministry of foreign affairs termed  Canada’s actions were an “affront” that required a “sharp response”.

Last month Saudi authorities arrested Samar Badawi and fellow activist Nassima al-Sadah who were campaigning women’s right to drive, which was granted by the Saudi government that ended a decades-old ban in June along with the abolishment of the male guardianship system. Since then more than a dozen female activists had been picked out by Saudi Authorities which was described by Human Rights Watch as “unrelenting crackdown on the women’s rights movement”. Last week, Canada’s ministry of foreign affairs tweeted that it was  “gravely concerned” about the detention of rights activists in the kingdom, including Samar Badawi.” Global Affairs Canada and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had also issued statements late last week urging or the release of Samar Badawi.

In response to this Saudi foreign ministry tweeted,  ” The Canadian position is a grave and unacceptable violation of the Kingdom’s laws and procedures. In addition to violate the Kingdom’s judiciary and a breach of the principle of sovereignty.”

Saudi Arabia said it thinks about the Canadian ambassador in Saudi Arabia as persona non grata as well as decided to expelled him and gave him a 24-hour notice to leave the kingdom.