Canada–Saudi Arabia relations

Last updated

Canadian–Saudi relations
Canada Saudi Arabia Locator.svg
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Canada
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Saudi Arabia
Diplomatic mission
Embassy of Canada, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Ottawa, Canada
Envoy
Ambassador of Canada to Saudi Arabia Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Canada Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairi (withdrawn)

Canadian–Saudi relations are the relations between Canada and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The two share robust economic ties, with Saudi Arabia representing Canada's second largest trading partner in the Middle East, [1] a relation that was bolstered in February 2014 with the purchase of C$15 billion worth of Canadian arms by Saudi Arabia. [2] Until August 2018, there were over 16,000 Saudi students on government scholarships in Canada. [3]

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Middle East region that encompasses Western Asia and Egypt

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.

Contents

Relations between the two have gradually soured after a diplomatic row which was sparked by the Canadian government's call for the immediate release of blogger Raif Badawi and his sister Samar via Twitter on 5 August 2018 over human rights concerns. In response, Saudi Arabia accused Canada of interfering in its internal affairs and expelled the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, declaring him persona non grata and giving him 48 hours to leave the country. It also recalled its own ambassador from Ottawa, [4] suspended all new trade (though maintaining the sale of oil to Canada), froze all Saudia flights to and from Toronto and cancelled scholarships for thousands of Saudi students in Canada. [5]

Raif Badawi Saudi Arabian writer and activist and the creator of the website Free Saudi Liberals

Raif bin Muhammad Badawi is a Saudi writer, dissident and activist, as well as the creator of the website Free Saudi Liberals.

Samar Badawi Saudi Arabian feminist

Samar Mohammad Badawi is a Saudi Arabian human rights activist. She and her father filed court cases against each other. Badawi's father accused her of disobedience under the Saudi Arabian male guardianship system and she charged her father with adhl—"making it hard or impossible for a person, especially a woman, to have what she wants, or what's rightfully hers; e.g, her right to marry" according to Islamic jurisprudence—for refusing to allow her to marry. After Badawi missed several trial dates relating to the charge, an arrest warrant was issued for her, and Badawi was imprisoned on 4 April 2010. In July 2010, Jeddah General Court ruled in Samar Badawi's favor, and she was released on 25 October 2010, and her guardianship was transferred to an uncle. There had been a local and international support campaign for her release. The Saudi NGO Human Rights First Society described Badawi's imprisonment as "outrageous illegal detention".

Twitter micro-blogging Internet service

Twitter is an American online news and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service (SMS) or its mobile-device application software ("app"). Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world.

Diplomatic visits

In April 2000, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien made a state visit to Saudi Arabia. [6]

Jean Chrétien 20th Prime Minister of Canada

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien is a Canadian politician who served as the 20th prime minister of Canada from November 4, 1993, to December 12, 2003.

Diplomatic relations

In a meeting held in Ottawa in December 2015, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion met with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir to discuss matters pertaining to human rights in Saudi Arabia. During the meeting, the Saudi government's detainment of human rights activist Raif Badawi was brought up. [7]

Ottawa Federal capital city in Ontario, Canada

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 964,743 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada.

Stéphane Dion Canadian politician

Stéphane Maurice Dion is a Canadian diplomat, political scientist, and former politician who has been the Canadian ambassador to Germany and special envoy to the European Union since May 2017. Dion was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from 2015 until he was shuffled out of Cabinet in 2017. He was also the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons from 2006 to 2008.

Adel al-Jubeir diplomat and politician of Saudi Arabia

Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir is a diplomat who was Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs from 29 April 2015 to 27 December 2018. He is the second person not belonging to the House of Saud to hold the office, after Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al Suwaiyel. He previously served as the Saudi Ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2015, and was also a foreign policy advisor to King Abdullah.

Following the 2016 Saudi Arabia mass execution in which 47 civilians convicted of terrorism were executed, Stéphane Dion requested that Saudi Arabia respect due process and to follow international norms in regards to human rights. [8] The Canadian Foreign Ministry also voiced concerns over the possibility that these executions could renew sectarian friction in the Middle East. [9]

On January 2, 2016, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia carried out a mass execution of 47 imprisoned civilians convicted for terrorism in 12 provinces in the country. Forty-three were beheaded and four were executed by firing squads. Among the 47 people killed was Shia Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The execution was the largest carried out in the kingdom since 1980. Nimr al-Nimr was sentenced to death by the Specialized Criminal Court on 15 October 2014 for "seeking 'foreign meddling' in Saudi Arabia, 'disobeying' its rulers and taking up arms against the security forces". His execution was condemned by religious and political figures and human rights groups. The Saudi government said the body would not be handed over to the family. Al-Nimr was very critical of the Saudi Arabian government, and called for free elections in Saudi Arabia.

Economic relations

Saudi Arabia is Canada's 17th largest trading partner. [10] Saudi Arabia imported $1.5 billion worth of Canadian goods in 2015 according to the World Bank. [11] Canada imported $1.5 billion worth of Saudi goods in 2015. [12]

From the end of 2012 until the middle of 2018, Saudi Arabia had become Canada's second largest export market in the Middle East. [1] Much like Israel, most of the success of the former Canadian-Saudi relations was attributable to opposition to Iran and other countries in the region. On the bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia, economic and trade interests used to be at the forefront of all discussions and meetings.

Several private Islamic schools in Canada have been directly financed by Saudi Arabia to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This has proved controversial, with detractors claiming that these schools can be used to propagate Saudi Arabia's strict form of Islam known as Wahhabism. [13]

Military relations

During the Gulf War, both Canadian and Saudi forces cooperated with the coalition forces to quell the invasion of Kuwait and the advancement of the Iraqi military. In February 1991, Canada opened up a field hospital in Saudi Arabia in the north-eastern village of Qaisumah to treat both coalition and Iraqi troops. [14]

Both countries reached in an agreement in February 2014 under which Saudi Arabia would purchase C$15 billion worth of military equipment from Canada. According to the CBC, this deal included 928 light armoured vehicles, specifically, a model known as LAV-6. Among these LAV-6s, 119 were categorized as heavy assault. Also included under this deal is a 14-year provision of technical assistance. [2] This deal solidified Saudi Arabia as the second-largest export destination for Canadian arms after the US. [15] The CBC reported that the first shipment of vehicles would arrive in Saudi Arabia by 2017. [2]

This deal immediately came under fire from numerous Canadian politicians and news outlets who believed that the vehicles may be misused by Saudi Arabia to commit human rights violations, particularly against its minority Shiite population. [16] Furthermore, when Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in 2015, questions were raised over whether the vehicles would be used against Yemeni civilians. [15]

Although the deal was penned by Stephen Harper's conservative government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the go-ahead for the deal to proceed in April 2016 when he assigned permits allowing for the export of the vehicles. When Trudeau was confronted about the possibility of Saudi Arabia using the vehicles against its civilian population, he stated that he was obliged to respect the deal made by his predecessor. [17] In August 2017, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland initiated an investigation into Saudi usage of Canadian-made vehicles and in February 2018 the investigative team concluded that there was no definitive evidence that Saudi Arabia had ever inflicted human rights abuses using vehicles originating from Canada. [18]

Educational relations

The Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in Canada (SACB), launched in May 1978 as a subsidiary of the Saudi Ministry of Education, is responsible for the management of Saudi students in Canada. One of its most important departments is its academic relations unit, which controls the submission of important documents to Canadian universities, such as transcripts and admission documents, and is also active in organizing official visits and signing cooperative agreements. Other departments of the SACB include an English language preparation unit and an admissions unit, which provides enrolment advice to Saudi students and monitors the status of admissions. [19]

There were more than 15,000 Saudi students in Canada in 2007, including 800 resident physicians and specialists who provided care to the Canadian population, offsetting Canadian aid to Saudis. [20] In 2015, Saudi Arabian students represented 3% of total foreign students in Canada. [21] Official figures provided by the SACB indicated that in 2014 there were 16,000 Saudi scholarship students in Canada and 1,000 medical trainees. [3]

In mid 2018, most educational ties were downgraded.

Cultural relations

Saudi National Day celebrations take place annually in the Canadian capital of Ottawa on 23 September. They are organized by the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Ottawa in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in Canada. [3]

Other relations

In 2000, Canadian William Sampson was arrested by the Saudi government for complicity in a suicide bombing in Riyadh, while maintaining his innocence. He was imprisoned and later criticized the Canadian government for not coming to his aid. [22] He was freed by British intervention after being imprisoned for two years. [22]

Since 2006, a Canadian citizen Nathalie Morin is stuck in Saudi Arabia with an abusive husband, fighting to go back to Canada along with her four children. With the on-going escalated tensions between Saudi Arabia and Canada, the future of Morin remains unclear. [23] According to Morin’s mother Johanne Durocher, Morin is cut off from the world, locked in an apartment in Dammam, victim of physical, psychological and sexual violence from her spouse. Durocher has not had any contact with her daughter or grandchildren since August 2018. [24]

In March 2008, Canadian citizen Mohamed Kohail was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia over the killing of a 19-year old. [25] His death sentence was revoked in 2010, and he was released in December 2012. During Kohail's imprisonment, several Canadian diplomats visited Saudi Arabia on Kohail's behalf. [26]

August 2018 diplomatic dispute

Background

Chrystia Freelandvia Twitter
@cafreeland

Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.

2 August 2018 [27]

Foreign Policy CANvia Twitter
@CanadaFP

Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.

3 August 2018 [28]

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland. Chrystia Freeland in Ukraine - 2017 (cropped).jpg
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland issued a statement via Twitter on 2 August 2018 expressing Canada's concern over the recent arrest of Samar Badawi, a human rights activist and sister of imprisoned Saudi activist Raif Badawi. Freeland advocated their release. Other Canadian diplomats and the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh later released statements of their own in which they called for the release of all peaceful human rights activists detained in the kingdom. [29]

The Saudi reaction

You can criticize us about human rights, women’s rights … that’s your right. You can sit down and talk about it, but demand the immediate release? What are we, a banana republic? Would any country accept it?

Adel al-Jubeir,Saudi Foreign Minister [30]

In response to Canada's criticism, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs published an official statement in which it "expressed disbelief" in the comments made by Freeland and the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, which it considered to "not be based in any accurate or true information". The Ministry went on to denounce the statements as "blatant interference in the Kingdom's domestic affairs". [31] The Saudi government suspended all new trade and investment relations with Canada and expelled Canada's ambassador; it named Dennis Horak as persona non grata and gave him 24 hours to leave the country. Saudi Arabia also said it would recall its envoy to Canada temporarily but a statement said the country maintained "its right to take further action". [29] [32]

The Saudi freeze on all new trade with Canada included instructing staff to sell off all Canadian holdings, including equities, bonds and cash even if that means doing so at a loss. [33] Saudi Arabia announced on 8 August that it would put a halt to its medical programs in Canada and move all Saudi patients receiving care in Canadian hospitals to hospitals in other countries. [34] By that date, Saudi Arabia had begun selling all its Canadian assets to foreign investors. [35]

Saudi students studying in Canada on Saudi Arabian scholarships were ordered to relocate to another country or risk losing financial assistance. Roughly 16,000 students were sponsored by such scholarships at the time of this decree. [36] For the 2018–2019 school year, the University of Toronto has 216 postgraduate medical residents and fellows and 77 undergraduate students while University of Western Ontario has 75 undergraduate and graduate students. [37] Western University also created a checklist for the students who have been ordered to leave Canada by 31 August 2018. [38] [37]

The state airline Saudia declared that all flights would be suspended from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh and King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah to and from Toronto Pearson International Airport as of 13 August. [39] [40]

As part of the economic sanctions, the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) advised that it would no longer accept wheat or barley of Canadian origin. However, an official statement from Energy Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih indicated that the diplomatic crisis would not impact the sale of oil to Canada by Saudi Aramco. [41] [42]

In response to suggestions in the news media about the possibility of outside mediation, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on 8 August that his country would not engage in negotiations until Canada retracted its original statement calling for the release of human rights activists. [43] The Toronto Star reported that the consensus among analysts indicated that the actions taken by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman were a "warning to the world — and to Saudi human rights activists — that his Saudi Arabia is not to be trifled with". [44]

In an interview with a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation programme, Iyad el-Baghdadi, President of the Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (an NGO) made this prediction as to the future of the relationship between the two countries. "Mohammad bin Salman has a tendency to start large actions that end up as quagmires, and I think unfortunately this is going to last for a while", and noted that while this was the first time Saudi Arabia had reacted this way to a western country, such reactions from Saudi Arabia had become "routine within the region". [45]

On 27 August, the Saudi Ministry of Education informed the 1,053 Saudi medical residents and fellows in Canada that they can "continue in their positions" and they no longer have to leave Canada by 31 August. [46]

According to Canadian based Global News, Saudi state-owned television Al Arabiya "has suggested that Canada is the worst country in the world for women, that it has the highest suicide rate and that it treats its Indigenous people the way Myanmar treats the Rohingya – a Muslim minority massacred and driven out of Myanmar en masse" which was described as "fake news" published by the Saudi television. [47]

Controversial image

A Saudi Arabian youth organization named "Infographic KSA" uploaded an image to Twitter on 6 August of a passenger plane flying towards the CN Tower in the skyline of Toronto. It was widely perceived as a threat of a terrorist attack by western media as an allusion to the September 11 attacks in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia. [48] The group immediately deleted the post and released a public apology to "those who were offended", explaining that the picture was not meant to represent a terrorist attack and was instead meant to symbolize Canadian ambassador Dennis Horak's flight back to Canada. [48] The Ministry of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia launched an investigation into the incident and ordered the group to suspend its Twitter account. [49]

Canada's response

Foreign Minister Freeland responded to the expulsion of Ambassador Horak at a press conference on 6 August. "Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights." [50]

On 8 August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he refused to apologize for his country's involvement in promoting human rights, saying that "Canadians have always expected our government to speak strongly, firmly and politely about the need to respect human rights around the world" and that Canada will continue to "speak strongly, firmly and politely" about this issue. [51] "We will continue to stand up for Canadian values and human rights. It's something that I will always do", he added. [51]

In another comment about the "diplomatic difference of opinion", Trudeau said his country would continue a relationship with Saudi Arabia. "We have respect for their importance in the world and recognise that they have made progress on a number of important issues. [52]

Former Conservative Foreign Minister John Baird appeared on Saudi Al Arabiya television to comment on the dispute and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fly to Riyadh to apologize in person to the Saudi royal family. [53] Baird was working as a consultant and has business interests in Saudi Arabia at the time he made the comments, [53] but in January 2015 while Foreign Affairs Minister, he had also protested Raif Badawi's case to the Saudis, specifically with Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, a prominent member of the Saud family. [54] NDP MP Charlie Angus called the appearance "stunning" and suggested that the Ethics Commissioner should investigate the incident. [55]

Economic effects

There was some question as to how the Saudi sell-off would affect Canada's economy; year to date, Canada had exported C$1.4 billion in goods to Saudi Arabia, according to Statistics Canada. [56] Middle East expert Rex Brynen of McGill University predicted that negative short-term economic effects were possible, but that the strategy would "mostly hurt Saudi-owned firms". [57] Canadian grain farmers were concerned, however. The president of Cereals Canada said that barley trade especially would be affected since Saudi Arabia accounted for seven per cent of the annual exports; wheat sales were much more modest. An analyst with LeftField Commodity Research said in an interview with Reuters that "there will be plenty of opportunities for Canada to sell barley and wheat elsewhere". Global supplies of grain were already becoming tighter due to weather-related issues in Russia, Europe, and Australia. The former Canadian Wheat Board, now G3, is partly owned by the Saudi Arabian agriculture company SALIC. [58] [59] [58]

The value of the Canadian dollar dropped slightly, but, on 8 August, it reached its highest level in over seven weeks due to data indicating economic growth and record high exports in recent months. [60] The total impact of the Saudi sell-off on Canadian currency should be "ephemeral" according to Bipan Rai, Executive Director and North America Head of FX Strategy at CIBC Capital Markets. [61]

The 800 to 1000 medical trainees sponsored by Saudi Arabia, who were at the Resident and Fellow level, were providing direct care to Canadian patients at no cost to the healthcare system. Hospitals were uncertain as to how these services could be replaced if the trainees were to leave Canada. As of late August 2018, they were allowed to remain until "an alternative assignment can be arranged", according to the Saudi Ministry of Education. [62] [63] [64]

International reaction

After the incident, the Saudi government has received official backing from the vast majority of the Arab league, while Canada received support from some MEPs. The day after Saudi Arabia downgraded ties, Yemen's Hadi government, [65] the United Arab Emirates [66] and Bahrain [67] expressed support to Saudi Arabia.

The Arab Interior Ministers Council and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretary general Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in a statement expressing GCC reaction, condemned any interference in Saudi Arabia's sovereignty. [68] However, Qatar, a GCC member, distanced itself from the remarks made by Al Zayani and stated that his comments "do not reflect its opinion" while mentioning that it maintains cordial relations with Canada. [69]

Several countries indicated support for the measures taken by Saudi Arabia on 7 August, including the Palestinian Authority government of Palestine, [70] Jordan, [71] Djibouti, [72] Mauritania, [73] and Sudan. [74] On 8 August, three more countries professed solidarity with the Saudi position: Egypt, [75] Comoros, [76] and Lebanon. [77] Russia was critical of Canada, with Maria Zakharova of the Russian Foreign Ministry criticizing Canada for "politicizing human rights". [78] Official support for the Saudi position was also expressed by Pakistan. [79] and Somalia. [80] Oman and Kuwait reprimanded Canada for what they considered meddling, but also conveyed their desires for hasty resolution of the dispute. [81]

Canada's NATO ally Turkey backed Saudi Arabia in its dispute with Canada, rejecting the Canadian actions as a "form of interference in other countries’ internal affairs". [82] The United States declared that it would not get involved in the dispute. [83] State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: "It is up for the Government of Saudi Arabia and the Canadians to work this out. Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We cannot do it for them." [84]

Sources told Reuters on 6 August that Canada was seeking help from its allies the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates to defuse the diplomatic dispute. [85] The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office urged restraint from both sides of the dispute and said that it had raised its concerns about the recent arrest of human rights defenders to the Saudi Arabian government. [86] A Bloomberg article on 10 August cited an unnamed "senior U.S. official" as stating that unspecified persons were trying to do behind-the-scenes damage control. [87] It is believed that the Canadian government received support from the British, German and Swedish governments through back-channels. [88] [89]

See also

Related Research Articles

Foreign relations of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian stated policy is focused on co-operation with the oil-exporting Gulf States, the unity of the Arab world, Islamic strength and solidarity, and support for the United Nations (UN). In practice, the main concerns in recent years have been relations with the US, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Iraq, the perceived threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the effect of oil pricing, and using its oil wealth to increase the influence of Islam and especially the conservative school of Islam supported by the country's rulers. Saudi Arabia contributes large amounts of development aid to Muslim countries. From 1986 to 2006, the country donated £49 billion in aid.

Human rights in Saudi Arabia

Human rights in Saudi Arabia are the subject of protection or violation by the government, which enforces Wahhabi religious laws under absolute rule of the Saudi royal family.

Badawi is both a given name and a surname. Notable people with the name include:

Multiple forms of media including books, newspapers, magazines, films, television, and content published on the Internet are censored in Saudi Arabia.

Chrystia Freeland Canadian politician and writer

Christina Alexandra "Chrystia" Freeland is a Canadian writer, journalist, and politician. She was appointed Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs in January 2017, succeeding Stéphane Dion.

Heather Nauert Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State

Heather Ann Nauert is an American broadcast journalist and former government official who served as Spokesperson for the United States Department of State from 2017 to 2019.

Canada–China relations Diplomatic relations between Canada and the Peoples Republic of China

Canada–China relations, or Sino-Canadian relations officially dates back to 1942, when Canada sent an ambassador to China. Before then, Canada had been represented by the British ambassador. The Communist victory (1949) in the Chinese Civil War caused a break in relations that lasted until 1970, when Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau became one of the first Western leaders to recognize the People's Republic of China. Canada is home to a large Chinese diaspora, which affects diplomatic and other dimensions.

The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) is a Saudi Arabian human rights organisation closely associated with and funded by the Saudi government. It was established on 10 March 2004, two years after the Human Rights First Society applied unsuccessfully for a licence. As of August 2018, the President of the NSHR was Mufleh bin Rabayan al-Qahtani.

Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires all citizens to be Muslims. Public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam is forbidden. Any non-Muslim attempting to acquire Saudi Arabian nationality must convert to Islam. Saudi Arabia has been criticized for its implementation of Islamic law and its human rights record.

2011–12 Saudi Arabian protests protest

The protests in Saudi Arabia were part of the Arab Spring that started with the 2011 Tunisian revolution. Protests started with a self-immolation in Samtah and Jeddah street protests in late January 2011. Protests against anti-Shia discrimination followed in February and early March in Qatif, Hofuf, al-Awamiyah, and Riyadh. A Facebook organiser of a planned 11 March "Day of Rage", Faisal Ahmed Abdul-Ahad, was allegedly killed by Saudi security forces on 2 March, with several hundred people protesting in Qatif, Hofuf and al-Amawiyah on the day itself. Khaled al-Johani demonstrated alone in Riyadh, was interviewed by BBC Arabic Television, was detained in `Ulaysha Prison, and became known online as "the only brave man in Saudi Arabia". Many protests over human rights took place in April 2011 in front of government ministry buildings in Riyadh, Ta'if and Tabuk and in January 2012 in Riyadh. In 2011, Nimr al-Nimr encouraged his supporters in nonviolent resistance.

Mohammad bin Salman Saudi crown prince and minister of defense

Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, colloquially known as MbS, is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He is currently serving as the country's deputy prime minister and is also chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, and minister of defense – the world's youngest at the time of his appointment. He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman. He was appointed crown prince in June 2017 following King Salman's decision to remove Muhammad bin Nayef from all positions, making Mohammed bin Salman heir presumptive to the throne.

Canada–Qatar relations Diplomatic relations between Canada and the State of Qatar

Canada and Qatar enjoyed friendly relations and coordination on the international field, long before Qatar's Embassy opened in Ottawa in 2011, including their joint military collaboration during the 1st Gulf War and in the international campaign to liberate the Libyan people. Diplomatic relations between the two nations were established in 1974.

Ensaf Haidar Saudi human rights activist, wife of Raif Badawi

Ensaf Haidar is a Saudi Arabia-born Canadian human rights activist. Born in Jizan, Saudi Arabia, Haidar is the wife of Raif Badawi, and actively campaigns for his freedom. Haidaris the President of the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom, that actively campaigns for freedom of speech and human rights awareness in the Arab World.

Saudi Canadians ethnic group

Saudi Canadians are Canadians of Saudi descent or Saudis who have Canadian citizenship. According to the 2011 Census there were 7,955 Canadians who claimed Saudi ancestry.

The Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR) is a Montreal-based non-governmental organization dedicated to pursuing justice through the protection and promotion of human rights. The RWCHR's name and mission is inspired by Raoul Wallenberg's humanitarian legacy.

Assassination of Jamal Khashoggi The Assassination of Saudi journalist, Kashoggi

The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, journalist for The Washington Post and former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel, occurred on 2 October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and was perpetrated by agents of the Saudi Arabian government. The exact cause of his death is unknown since his body has not been located or examined. Government officials of several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, believe Khashoggi was murdered. Turkey in particular believes it was premeditated murder, and anonymous Saudi officials have admitted that agents affiliated with the Saudi government killed him.

Dhahban Central Prison

Dhahban Central Prison, also known as Dhahban Prison, is a maximum security prison facility located near Dahaban, Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. It was built in 2015 as part of a renovation of the Jeddah Prisons infrastructure, at a cost of SR400 million. It has capacity for 7,500 inmates. When it opened, 3,000 inmates were transferred in from Braiman Prison. In 2015, the regional director for prisons Mani Al-Otaibi said it was the most advanced prison in Saudi Arabia, with state of the art surveillance technologies.

Nassima al-Sadah is a Shia human rights writer and activist from the "restive Shi'ite-majority" eastern province Qatif, Saudi Arabia. She has "campaigned for civil and political rights, women's rights and the rights of the Shi'a minority" in the eastern province Qatif, Saudi Arabia for many years. She ran as a candidate in the 2015 Saudi Arabian municipal elections but was disqualified. Sadah and another prominent activist, Samar Badawi, were arrested on July 30, 2018 were arrested by Saudi authorities in a broader "government crackdown" on "activists, clerics and journalists." Al Sada was placed in solitary confinement in early February 2019 in al-Mabahith Prison in Dammam.

References

  1. 1 2 "Canada-Saudi Arabia Relations". Government of Canada.
  2. 1 2 3 Murray Brewster (19 March 2018). "Canada's arms deal with Saudi Arabia includes 'heavy assault' vehicles". CBC. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 "Fast Facts". Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in Canada. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  4. "Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  5. "Saudi Arabia has frozen all trade investment with Canada" . Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  6. "Chretien arrival to Saudi Arabia ends his tour in the Middle East". Kuwait News Agency. 17 April 2000. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  7. "Raif Badawi's case raised by Stéphane Dion with Saudi counterpart". CBC. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  8. Mike Blanchfield (7 January 2016). "Justin Trudeau advised to deepen ties with Saudi Arabia, brace for change in Iran". CBC. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  9. Kevin Nielsen (3 January 2016). "Federal government denounces mass executions in Saudi Arabia". Global News. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  10. "Saudi Arabia-Canada spat: What we know so far". The Globe and Mail. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  11. "Saudi Arabia | Product | Imports | from Canada 2015 | WITS | Data". wits.worldbank.org. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  12. "Canada | Product | Imports | from Saudi Arabia 2015 | WITS | Data". wits.worldbank.org. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  13. Colin Freeze Affan Chowdhry (1 July 2015). "Saudi government funding private Islamic schools in Canada, documents show". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 7 August 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  14. "The Canadian Armed Forces and the Gulf War". Veteran Affairs Canada. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  15. 1 2 "Explainer: Saudi-Canada relations before Riyadh's diplomatic spat". The New Arab. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  16. Ashifa Kassam (21 March 2018). "Justin Trudeau defends Canada's arms sales to Saudi Arabia". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  17. Steven Chase (11 May 2016). "Canada must 'stick to its word' on Saudi arms deal, Trudeau says". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  18. Melanie Marquis (8 February 2018). "No evidence Saudis used Canadian-made armoured vehicles in human rights abuses: Freeland". Global News. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  19. "The Department of Academic Relations and Admissions". Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in Canada. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  20. "CANADA-SAUDI ARABIA RELATIONS". Canadian Government. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  21. "Brexit, Trump election drive university students to Canada, but will they stay here? | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  22. 1 2 STEPHEN THORNE (8 August 2003). "Sampson tested by torture, deprivation". pub. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  23. "Canada Turned a Blind Eye to This Woman's Black Eye". Huffpost. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  24. "La mère d'une Québécoise coincée en Arabie saoudite dénonce l'inaction du gouvernement canadien". Huffpost Quebec. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  25. "Canadian a step closer to execution in Saudi Arabia". CBC News. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2009.
  26. Sidhartha Banerjee (28 May 2013). "Mohamed Kohail Free: Canadian Condemned To Death In Saudi Arabia Released". huffingtonpost.ca. 21 December 2018. The Canadian Press.
  27. Chrystia Freeland [@cafreeland] (2 August 2018). "Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  28. Foreign Policy CAN [@CanadaFP] (3 August 2018). "Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  29. 1 2 Jon Gambrell (5 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador, freezes trade in human rights dispute". Toronto Star. The Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2018-11-08. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  30. "Saudi foreign minister demands Canada stop treating it like a 'banana republic'". The Guardian. 28 September 2018.
  31. "Foreign Ministry: negative, surprising attitude of Canada totally false claim". Saudi Press Agency. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  32. "Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador after Ottawa criticizes arrests of Saudi activists". Washington Post. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  33. "Saudi Arabia sells off Canadian assets as dispute escalates: FT". Thomson-Reuters. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  34. "Riyadh to transfer all Saudi patients in Canada out of the country". CNBC. Reuters. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  35. Simeon Kerr (8 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia sells Canadian assets as dispute escalates". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  36. Ainsley Smith (7 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia orders all of its foreign university students to leave Canada". Daily Hive. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  37. 1 2 Harris, Tamar (August 16, 2018). "Saudi renters forced to leave Toronto face 'legal nightmare' over leases, advocate says". Toronto Star .
  38. "Message to Students from Saudi Arabia". uwo.ca. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  39. Joshua Berlinger (7 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia state airline cancels flights to Canada amid growing dispute". CNN. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  40. Tom Embury-Dennis (6 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia state airline to suspend flights in and out of Toronto amid intensifying diplomatic row with Canada". The Independent. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  41. "Saudi official says oil sales unaffected by dispute with Canada". CTV News. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  42. "Saudi Arabia to sell off Canadian assets and stop buying Canadian wheat and barley". CBC News. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  43. Naser Al Wasmi (8 August 2018). "Al Jubeir: No room for mediation with Canada". The National. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  44. "On Saudi Arabia, Canada's stance is principled — but conflicted". Toronto Star. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  45. "Et tu quoque, Trudeau? How Saudi trolls slammed Canada in a diplomatic spat". CBC News. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  46. Picard, André; Weeks, Carly (27 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia allows medical trainees to stay in Canada". theglobeandmail.com.
  47. "Here's the fake news Saudi Arabia is playing about Canada". Global News . 15 August 2018.
  48. 1 2 "Saudi Arabian group apologizes for posting image showing plane heading towards CN Tower". CBC News. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  49. "'Unacceptable': Outrage over Saudi tweet". news.com.au. Reuters, The Associated Press. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  50. "Amid Saudi Arabia dispute, Canada says will always defend human rights". Ottawa: Reuters. 6 August 2018.
  51. 1 2 Tasker, John Paul (8 August 2018). "Trudeau rebuffs Saudi call for an apology as diplomatic spat escalates". CBC News . Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  52. "'We don't have a single friend': Canada's Saudi spat reveals country is alone". The Guardian. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  53. 1 2 Hopper, Tristin (August 14, 2018). "'This has not been a good hour for Canada': John Baird slams Trudeau government on Saudi state TV". National Post.
  54. "Raif Badawi: John Baird protests blogger flogging to Saudi prince". CBC News. January 25, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  55. Angus, Charlie (August 16, 2018). "The ethics of John Baird's Saudi intervention". Toronto Star .
  56. Bloomberg L.P. (10 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia warns of further retaliation against Canada". Straits Times. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  57. Andrew Russel (8 August 2018). "How Saudi Arabia selling Canadian assets could affect our economy". Global News. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  58. 1 2 Staff (7 August 2018). "Saudi Arabian agency stops buying Canadian wheat, barley". Reuters. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  59. Kate Ayers (9 August 2018). "Saudi Arabia halts Canadian grain imports". Farms.com. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  60. Fergal Smith (8 August 2018). "Canadian dollar rebounds from two-week low as investors look past Saudi dispute". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  61. Maciej Onoszko and Sarah Algethami (8 August 2018). "Canadian dollar whipsaws as row with Saudi Arabia escalates". Financial Post. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  62. Kelly Grant and Jack Hauen (8 August 2018). "Canadian teaching hospitals facing withdrawal as Saudi Arabia recalls sponsored students". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  63. "Saudi medical trainees allowed to stay in Canada, for now". CBC. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  64. "Saudi Arabia allows medical trainees to stay in Canada". Globe and Mail. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  65. "Yemen supports kingdom against any prejudice to its sovereignty". Saudi Press Agency. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  66. "UAE Expresses Solidarity with Saudi Arabia against Any Foreign Interference in Its Domestic Affairs". Saudi Press Agency. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  67. "Bahrain says supports Saudi Arabia in rights row with Canada". Reuters. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  68. Jessica Vomiero (6 August 2018). "Arab states back Saudi Arabia in expelling Canadian ambassador over human rights dispute". Global News. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  69. "قطر تنأى بنفسها عن أزمة السعودية وكندا" (in Arabic). Al Jazeera Arabic. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  70. "Abbas backs Saudi Arabia". Arutz Sheva. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  71. "Jordan Emphasizes KSA Right to Apply National Laws, Regulations". Saudi Press Agency. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  72. "Djibouti Strongly Condemns Canadian Intervention in KSA Internal Affairs". Saudi Press Agency. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  73. "Mauritania expresses full solidarity with kingdom against any interference in its internal affairs". Saudi Press Agency. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  74. "Sudan expresses full solidarity with the Kingdom against any interference in its internal affairs". Saudi Press Agency. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  75. "Egypt confirms solidarity with kingdom in position rejecting any external interference in internal affairs". Saudi Press Agency. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  76. "Comoros Stresses Rejecting Canadian Interference, in KSA Internal Affairs, based on Fake Pretext to Defend HRs". Saudi Press Agency. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  77. "Hariri: Lebanon supports Saudi stance in Riyadh, Ottawa diplomatic row". Egypt Today. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  78. "Russia chides Canada over row with Saudi Arabia". Yahoo! News. Reuters. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  79. "Pakistan backs Saudi Arabia in diplomatic tussle with Canada". ARY News. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  80. Paul McLoughlin (7 August 2018). "Oman and Kuwait go gently into Saudi Arabia and Canada dispute". The New Arab. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  81. "Turkish, Saudi foreign ministers discuss ties". Anadolu Agency . 10 August 2018.
  82. Steven Chase (7 August 2018). "U.S. refuses to back Canada in Saudi Arabia dispute". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  83. "'We don't have a single friend': Canada's Saudi spat reveals country is alone". The Guardian . August 11, 2018.
  84. "Canada to ask allies to help cool Saudi dispute; U.S. offers no aid". Reuters. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  85. "UAE, Arab League voice support for Saudi Arabia in Canada dispute". Arabian Business. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  86. "It's open season in Saudi Arabia on everything Canadian". Arabian Business. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  87. "The Saudi Arabia-Canada Feud, Explained". Atlantic Council. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  88. "Canada seeks help from allies to end tension with Saudi Arabia". Memo. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.