Canada to seek UAE, UK help in resolving rift with Saudi Arabia

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is asking the UK and UAE to mediate in his country's diplomatic rift with Saudi Arabia, says a Reuters report. (REUTERS/File Photo)
Updated 08 August 2018
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Canada to seek UAE, UK help in resolving rift with Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, expelled Canada' s envoy, and banned new trade to protest Canada's meddling in the Kingdom's internal affairs
  •  Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has been blamed for starting the rift

JEDDAH: Canada plans to seek help from United Arab Emirates and Britain to defuse an escalating diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported on Tuesday, as traders revealed the Arab state would no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley.

The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for urging the release of rights activists. Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.

One well-placed source told Reuters the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates.

"The key is to work with allies and friends in the region to cool things down, which can happen quickly," said one source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Another source told Reuters that Canada would also seek help from Britain. The British government on Tuesday urged Canada and Saudi Arabia to show restraint.

The office of Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, whose statements started the rift with Saudi Arabia, did not respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, European traders said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia's main wheat-buying agency has told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin wheat and barley.

 

 


King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias performs at the launch of a three-day festival of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday in Ad Diriyah, near Riyadh. (Twitter)
Updated 14 December 2018
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King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

  • Enrique Iglesias took the stage in an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah
  • The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical

RIYADH: Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias launched a three-day festival  of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday with a stunning concert at an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah.

The king of Latin pop took the stage by storm and stole the hearts of thousands in the crowd, whose screams could be heard from a long way away. “I love you Enrique,” a group of girls in the audience shouted.

As he waved his hand back and forth in the air, the crowd started doing the same while jumping up and down. The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical. 

No theatrics were excluded as displays of fireworks and lasers wowed the audience. The singer asked the crowd if they spoke Spanish, and everyone screamed “Yes.”

While stage smoke poured into the arena a female performer sang a duet with Iglesias, who then delighted the crowd with some impromptu salsa dancing in front of the stage.

Fans waved their uplifted phones with their screens and flashes along with the music, while others tried to capture the performance.

“You can run, you can hide but you can’t escape my love,” sang Iglesias while the crowd screamed.

Earlier the R&B singer, songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo persuaded the crowd to put on their dancing shoes with an energetic set.

“Saudi, whassup! This is a dream come true for me! Since we are in Saudi Arabia I want to do things a little different,” he told the audience. He said his mother taught him to never visit empty handed, so his gift to Saudi Arabia was the debut performance of a new song.

Thursday’s entertainment will be followed on Friday by shows from Arab music star Amr Diab and the Black Eyed Peas. The climax of the festival comes on Saturday with the Saudia Ad Diriyah Formula E Grand Prix motor race, followed by headline performances by OneRepublic and the megastar DJ/producer David Guetta.