Canada plans no economic retaliation against Saudi Arabia

TRENTON, Canada:  On Thursday in the midst of country’s ongoing diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that Canada will not retaliate with any economic measures. The state has no plans to launch any economic retaliation against Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh is upset by Canada’s criticism of the kingdom’s human-rights practices. Canada publicly reprimanded the kingdom for not releasing jailed human rights activists. The Saudi government considered this Canadian act as a violation and made it clear that meddling in its domestic affairs would not be tolerated.

To show its displeasure Saudi Arabia set in motion a number of diplomatic and economic measures. The Saudi Kingdom recalled its ambassador, Naif Alsudairy from the Canadian capital of Ottawa.

The Arabian ambassador to Canada said, “Canadians are arrested every day in Canada and Saudi Arabia never makes public statements on these issues. Because we have to respect a country’s legal system and its court decision. We can’t just give people orders about the way we think. We have to show respect for other people’s systems.”

The Kingdom also expelled the Canadian ambassador, halted all new trade deals and ceased the imports of barley and wheat. The Saudi government ordered 16,000 Saudi students to leave Canadian schools, as well as doctors and patients to leave Canadian hospitals.  An anonymous seller began selling off Canadian assets, which is speculated to be Saudis divesting investments in Canada.

Saudi Arabia wants a public apology, to which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused. Although he has refused to step back from condemnation of the Saudis for their miserable record on human rights, but he also acknowledged earlier this week that he doesn’t seek conflict with the kingdom.

Morneau said his department has been closely watching the rift, which is evolving by the day, but no retaliation is on the table as yet. “We’re paying close attention to this situation, of course, because we wanted to understand the impacts,” he told reporters on Thursday. He made it very clear that Canada is not going to respond, “We are not considering any responses.”

Canada sees no significant economic effect from kingdom’s wrath on its markets. Morneau said that the Canadian economy is stable and strong. The Canadian-Saudi rift is not imposing any big economic challenges for Ottawa.

On the same day Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister also assured that the diplomatic rift with Canada wouldn’t affect the kingdom’s petroleum supplies to Canada. Determined diplomacy is needed to mend ties between the two nations as uncertainty over the state of affairs between the two countries still remain.

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