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Trade frozen with Canada, Saudi envoy leaves country

Riyadh, Aug 6 (UNI) Saudi Arabia on Monday said that they have frozen all his trade with Canada and asked its Ambassador to leave the Kingdom within 24 hours in wake of Ottawa’s pressure to “immediately release” jailed civil society activists.

The Saudi Foreign Affairs Ministry said they have never accepted any interference in its domestic affairs by or orders from any country. It has also decided to recall its envoy to Canada as well, the Saudi Press Agency said in a statement here.

“Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the Kingdom over its own citizens. Thereby, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recalls the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Canada back to Riyadh for consultation and considers the Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia as Persona-Non-Grata who must leave the Kingdom within the next 24 hours. The Kingdom will put on hold all new business and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action,” the statement read.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been made aware of the statement by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Embassy in the Kingdom, on the so-called civil society activists who have been detained, urging Saudi authorities to release them immediately,” the statement read.

The statement added that the Ministry has called the Canadian statement a blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs, against “basic international norms and all international protocols”.

The row has started last week when Canada tweeted that it was “gravely concerned” over a new wave of arrests of women and human rights campaigners in the Kingdom, including an award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi.

“We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.”

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