Friday, 21 September, 2018

US urges Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve feud

101317-university of kings college-halifax-1-MG University of King's College
Pablo Mccormick | 08 August, 2018, 20:06

The Saudi government on Wednesday ordered some 16,000 Saudi students in Canada to pack their stuff and made arrangements for their relocation, whether they received government funding or not.

"There is nothing to mediate. These issues may require constructive advice and assistance, but it should not come from a commanding tone coming from an alleged moral superiority".

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Meanwhile, the United States - one of Canada's closest allies - has so far refused to wade into the row. Saudi central bank and state pension funds told their overseas asset managers to unload Canadian bonds, stocks, and cash holdings "no matter the cost", the report said. "Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together". Nevertheless, when Freeland was asked about Saudi Arabia's reaction to her comments, she said Canada stands by its stance "with great assuredness."

The kingdom early Monday expelled Canada's envoy Dennis Horak giving him 24 hours to leave the country, and recalled its own envoy to Ottawa, while freezing or "put on hold all new business and investment transactions with Canada" what it slammed as "interference" in its internal affairs.

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The Canadian currency dropped as much as 0.5 per cent to 76.21 U.S. cents after the Financial Times reported that the Saudi Arabia central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets starting Tuesday. A Saudi airline has also interrupted flights to the North American country.

Analysts and regional officials say that Riyadh's actions have little to do with Canada; instead, the kingdom's actions are a broader signal to western governments that any criticism of its domestic policies is unacceptable. "Canada knows what it needs to do", he said.

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But if this was an attempt by Saudi Arabia to push down Canadian markets, the move had limited success. "We are always going to speak up for human rights, we're always going to speak up for women's rights, and that is not going to change".

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