Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador over interference in Kingdom’s affairs

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian ambassador and frozen all new trade and investment with Ottawa after Canada’s Foreign Ministry criticized human-rights violations in the country.

Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador over interference in Kingdom's affairs lailasnews 2

In a statement released on Sunday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak must leave the Kingdom “within the next 24 hours” and recalled its own envoy to Canada.

“The Kingdom views the Canadian position as an affront that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty,” read the statement, adding that it retained the “right to take further action.”

The statement follows a series of tweets from the Canadian Foreign Ministry last week urging the Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil rights activists after a recent Saudi government crackdown has seen a number of high-profile activists detained, including women’s rights campaigner Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif has been behind bars since 2012 and is sentenced to receive 1,000 lashes.

Canada had written:

 

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

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia then released a statement:

 

| Throughout its long history, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has never accepted any interference in its domestic affairs by, or orders from any country.

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