Russia rejects Canada’s ‘authoritative tone’ toward Saudi Arabia

Russia issued a statement on Wednesday rejecting the “authoritative tone” of Canada toward Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock)
Updated 08 August 2018
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Russia rejects Canada’s ‘authoritative tone’ toward Saudi Arabia

  • The dispute began after a tweet by the Canadian foreign ministry on Friday, in which it expressed “concerns” over the arrests of civil and women’s rights activists in the Kingdom
  • Arab countries, including Bahrain, Palestine and the UAE, have lined up in support of Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Russia sided with Saudi Arabia in the ongoing diplomatic rift with Canada on Wednesday, issuing a statement accusing the latter of attempting to “politicize human rights issues.”

The statement said Russia rejected the “authoritative tone” of Canada toward Saudi Arabia, adding that the Kingdom had the full sovereign right to manage its own affairs.

“We consistently and firmly advocate compliance with universal human rights with due regard for the specific national customs and traditions that developed in a given country over a long period of time. We have always said that the politicization of human rights matters is unacceptable,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.

She added Russia believed the Kingdom had entered a path toward large-scale socioeconomic reform.

And she said it “has the sovereign right to decide how it will proceed in this vital sphere.”

Zakharova added that Canada would have been better placed to provide “constructive advice and assistance rather than criticism.”

But she said: “At the same time, we hope that Saudi Arabia and Canada will find a civilized solution to their differences.”

The dispute began after a tweet by the Canadian foreign ministry on Friday, in which it expressed “concerns” over the arrests of civil and women’s rights activists in the Kingdom and called for their immediate release.

But in response the Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's ambassador in 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.

Arab countries, including Bahrain, Palestine and the UAE, have lined up in support of Saudi Arabia after it took trade and diplomatic measures against Canada on Monday in response to the latter’s interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom.


US victory in Women’s World Cup inspires female Arab footballers

Updated 5 min 12 sec ago
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US victory in Women’s World Cup inspires female Arab footballers

  • Members of Jeddah Eagles, a women’s football squad with 39 players, watched the July 7 WWC final in anticipation of an exciting finish

JEDDAH: Football fans around the world celebrated the recognition of women in sports after the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) final match in Lyon, France, in which the US beat the Netherlands 2-0. One country where the US victory struck a powerful chord among female sports enthusiasts is Saudi Arabia.

Women are participating in sports in increasing numbers in the Kingdom as the reforms being introduced under the Vision 2030 plan enable women to take on different career paths.

Members of Jeddah Eagles, a women’s football squad with 39 players, watched the July 7 WWC final in anticipation of an exciting finish. In the end, they celebrated not only the US team’s victory but the recognition of women in sports as a whole. Members of the team talked to Arab News about how they have been inspired by the WWC.

BACKGROUND

Women are participating in sports in increasing numbers in Saudi Arabia as Vision 2030 reforms enable them to take on different career paths.

Johara Al-Sudairi, who has been playing for Jeddah Eagles as a winger since August 2017, said she is thrilled that football is gaining popularity among women in the Kingdom.

Fatimah Gari, who joined the team as a striker in 2014, was happy for her fellow female football players in the US for their victory.

“It is a very good feeling,” the 28-year-old Saudi told Arab News. “I wish one day we will have a Saudi team and will be in their place.”

The 16-year-old central midfielder believes Arab women would perform better than their male counterparts given the right support.

“With the right amount of funding and support, Arab women for sure can be better at playing,” she told Arab News.