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

Updated 09 August 2018
0

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.


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019
0

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.