Canadian embassy in Riyadh. Photo: Flickr Commons
Citing “interference” in its internal affairs, Saudi Arabia said on Monday it was expelling Canada’s ambassador, recalling its envoy in Ottawa, and freezing its business ties with Ottawa, AFP reported.
The move was in response to calls by Canada for the release of human rights activists arrested in a recent crackdown.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… will not accept interference in its internal affairs or imposed diktats from any country,” the foreign ministry tweeted.
“The kingdom announces that it is recalling its ambassador… to Canada for consultation.”
Riyadh said the Canadian ambassador had 24 hours to leave the oli-rich Gulf state, and announced the “freezing of all new commercial and investment transactions” with the country.
The Canadian embassy in Riyadh had said it was “gravely concerned” about a new wave of detentions of human-rights campaigners in the kingdom, including Samar Badawi, an award-winning gender rights activist.
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