Saudi business delegation visit to Canada canceled

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Canadian embassy in Riyadh on Monday. — Exclusive Okaz/Saudi Gazette photo by Mansoor Alshehri

Okaz/ Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH
– The Deputy Chairman of the Saudi-Canadian Business Council Marwan Al-Mutlaq disclosed to Okaz Arabic daily that the scheduled visit by a delegation of the Council to Canada to develop economic relations and trade exchange between the two countries has been canceled.

He said Canadian interference in Saudi internal affairs would have a negative impact on the average trade exchange between the two countries that has exceeded SR13 billion annually.

A source described by Reuters as “informed” said the Canadian diplomats in Riyadh were surprised by the firm Saudi measures.

“The Canadian diplomatic row” will not stop at the commercial exports between the two countries, as observers expect the $13 billion deal for “the manufacture of Saudi armored vehicles” to enter uncharted waters, the source said.

“This is at a time when the Canadians were expecting the deal to have a positive impact on their country, to the extent that Ottawa described it in 2014 as “the biggest export contract in the history of Canada, in the field of sophisticated industries,” the source added.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg drew attention to the fact that the Canadian dollar has dropped by 0.3 percent compared to the US dollar following Riyadh’s decision to freeze economic relations and investments with Ottawa.

A spokesperson of the Canadian government Marie-Pier Baril confirmed Ottawa’s attempts to contact Riyadh. She added, “We are very concerned,” according to the Canadian newspaper “The Global and Mail.”

The UAE, Bahrain, Palestine, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Muslim World League (MWL), the Arab Parliament in the Arab League and the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) denounced Canadian interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs.

The MWL described the Canadian interference as “the shameful and unprecedented diplomatic assault”.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani expressed his support for the actions taken by Saudi Arabia against Canada’s Foreign Ministry and the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh.

Dr. Al-Zayani stressed his condemnation and rejection of the Canadian action, which contained false claims. He described the Canadian statements as an unacceptable interference in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs.

“These statements are a clear violation of the principles of the UN Charter and also detrimental to the relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada,” Dr. Al-Zayani added.


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