Saudi-Canada diplomatic row will not affect oil supplies, says energy minister

Updated 09 August 2018
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Saudi-Canada diplomatic row will not affect oil supplies, says energy minister

  • Riyadh on Sunday froze new trade with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador
  • The dispute was sparked by Canada's "interference" in the case of jailed Saudi rights activists

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's petroleum supplies to countries around the world will not be affected by the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Canada and the Kingdom, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Thursday.

Al-Falih reaffirmed the policy that the Kingdom’s petroleum supplies are not to be impacted by political considerations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the minister as saying.

"He reiterated that this is a firm and longstanding policy that is not influenced by political circumstances," the SPA report said.

Riyadh on Sunday froze new trade with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador in a dispute sparked by Canada's demanding the release of jailed Saudi rights activists. It also ended state-backed educational and medical programs in Canada.

On Wednesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir ruled out the possibility of a third party mediating to mend the rift between the two countries.

He said Canada needed to “fix its big mistake”. He also said Saudi Arabia is "considering taking further measures".

Despite the dispute, Al-Falih said the current diplomatic crisis will not, in any way, impact Saudi Aramco's relations with its customers in Canada.

He stressed that the Kingdom continues to invest in its production capacity, which is considered a key factor in protecting from market volatility that is damaging to the interests of producers and consumers alike and the global economy at large.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 48 min 12 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”