‘Nothing to mediate’ in Saudi-Canada row: Saudi FM

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said the Kingdom's measures would only effect new investments, not existing ones. (REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser)
Updated 09 August 2018
0

‘Nothing to mediate’ in Saudi-Canada row: Saudi FM

  • Adel Al-Jubeir says Ottawa knows what it needs to do to “fix its big mistake”
  • Kingdom is keen on protecting Saudi citizens interests in Canada

JEDDAH: There is “nothing to mediate” in Saudi Arabia’s dispute with Canada and Ottawa knows what it must do to “fix its big mistake,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Wednesday. 

“I’m sure it was a mistake and they now must rectify that mistake. The ball is in Canada’s court,” Al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh.

“Saudi Arabia is considering taking further measures,” he said. “This is a crisis that the Kingdom did not want, but was forced upon us.”

The dispute began last week when Canada urged Saudi Arabia to release civil society activists detained on security charges. In response, Saudi Arabia accused Canada of interfering in the internal affairs of an independent sovereign state, expelled the Canadian ambassador, recalled its own envoy, froze new trade and ended educational and medical programs in Canada.

“The Kingdom does not interfere with other countries’ internal affairs nor does it accept other countries’ interference,” Al-Jubeir said. 

He also said that Canada should change its approach in dealing with Saudi Arabia, adding that it “knows what it needs to do.”

He told Saudi citizens that the Kingdom is keen on protecting their interests in Canada.

Canadian investments in Saudi Arabia were still ongoing and would not be affected by the dispute, he said. “What we have stopped is further investments. It is difficult to deal with a nation that believes it can lecture you and interfere in your domestic affairs.”

The charges against the detainees would be made public once their cases reach the courts, Al-Jubeir said. “The matter is not about human rights, it is a matter of national security,” he said. “These people are agents.”

The Saudi stance in the dispute has been supported by individuals, organizations and states throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, joined on Wednesday by Russia, which accused Canada of attempting to “politicize human rights issues.”

Russia rejected the “authoritative tone” of Canada toward Saudi Arabia, and said 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.

She said Russia believed the Kingdom had entered a path toward large-scale socioeconomic reform, and “has the sovereign right to decide how it will proceed in this vital sphere.”

Zakharova said it would have been better if Canada had offered “constructive advice and assistance rather than criticism.

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


Crown prince: Saudi investment in India to reach $100bn

Updated 20 February 2019
0

Crown prince: Saudi investment in India to reach $100bn

  • Mohammed bin Salman says value of investments to increase rapidly over next two years
  • Modi praised relations between the two countries after signing cooperation agreements

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday he expects Saudi Arabia’s investments in India will be worth $100 billion in the next two years.

During a press conference with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the crown prince said the Kingdom had invested $10 billion in technology and small companies in India which had “achieved very remarkable returns.”

Speaking on the second day of hist India visit, and after the signing of five agreements with Modi, the crown prince also said that there were many opportunities for India in Saudi Arabia.

“We expect that the opportunity we are developing in India in many fields will exceed 100 billion dollars over the next two years,” Prince Mohammed said. “We want to work as two governments to ensure these investments and achieve beneficial returns for both countries. 

“We also hope that relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India will contribute to providing more opportunities for Indian laborers and manpower to contribute to the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and building the Kingdom's Vision 2030.”

******

READ MORE: 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledges commitment to Saudi-Indian relations

Greeted with a hug: Saudi crown prince welcomed to India by PM Modi

Full Asia tour coverage 

******

The crown prince spoke of the depth and history of relations between the two countries, acknowledging the role Indian labor and businesses had played in the Kingdom’s development.

He also said the economic partnerships were grounded in the two nation’s similar challenges - “extremism, terrorism and the security of the Indian Ocean.”

He said Modi’s visit to the Kingdom in 2016 had achieved investments worth $44 billion in refining and petrochemicals.

The two countries planned to expand India’s oil storage capacity to make India an “important regional center in distributing oil and its products.”

"As a neighbor who guarantees suppying us with energy needs, the Kingdom is considered India's most important partner," Modi said. "We have enhanced our relations through establishing a strategic partnership."

The crown prince and Modi earlier oversaw the signing of agreements in the fields of investment, tourism, housing and information and broadcasting.

It was also announced that the Kingdom would join the International Solar Alliance, a group of countries focussed on improving solar technology.

Prince Mohammed then met a number of CEOs from India's leading businesses.

The crown prince arrived in India after a two-day trip to Pakistan as part of a tour of Asia.

Earlier he attended a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi after landing in the country on Tuesday evening.