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.


UAE celebrates Saudi National Day

Updated 23 September 2018
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UAE celebrates Saudi National Day

DUBAI: The celebratory mood to mark Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day has reached as far as New York, with Nasdaq displaying images of the Kingdom’s rulers at its tower on Times Square in New York while Dubai carrier Emirates is pulling out all the stops to join in the festivities.

The Dubai airline operated a special one-off A380 service, known as EK 813 and EK 814, on Sunday to the capital city of Riyadh, touching down at King Khalid International Airport at 3:30pm. The return flight was scheduled to depart at 6:50pm.

A YouTube video from Emirates also showed crew handing out scarves embroidered with the countries’ flags, as well as white roses, to passengers while boarding the A380 aircraft.

 

Nasdaq Dubai, the UAE-based operations of the New York equities exchange, posted: “Best wishes from #NasdaqDubai to #SaudiArabia on the occasion of the 88th National day” in its Twitter account, along with photos containing images of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed being projected on a huge electronic billboard. A separate tweet also showed an 11-second video with the merged UAE and Saudi Arabian flags fluttering on the billboard.

 

 

Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, will be illuminated in the national flag of Saudi Arabia, in a display of friendship between the UAE and its Gulf neighbor.

In the UAE’s capital, the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police decorated 88 of their cars – one for every year being celebrated – with the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the words “Together Forever.”

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways’ Wesam Sameer Al-Najjar, the only Saudi National A380 pilot in the world, together with Captain Ahmed Almalood from the UAE, flew the A380 Year of Zayed aircraft to Jeddah for a special one-off service to mark the event.