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.


Cirque du Soleil prepares ground-breaking show in King Fahd Stadium

Updated 29 min 25 sec ago
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Cirque du Soleil prepares ground-breaking show in King Fahd Stadium

RIYADH: A joint press conference between the MBC Group, the General Entertainment Authority, and Cirque du Soleil was held at King Fahd Stadium on Thursday afternoon to answer media questions and give some details about Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming special performance, part of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day celebrations. The show is slated to be one of the biggest performed by the Cirque and their first in Saudi Arabia. It is a one-night-only, exclusive event, designed especially for this occasion.
Daniel Fortin, vice president of Creation at Cirque du Soleil, teased the audience with a few details of the upcoming show. “With a cast and crew of over 300, this is one of the biggest shows we’ve ever done,” he said.
“Without giving too much of the plot away, the story is centered around the sun, and takes place from sunset to sunrise. Everything from the costumes to the stage props was created as a homage to Saudi culture. You’ll see a lot of Bedouin influences in the staging and in the music. We drew inspiration from a variety of sources, such as traditional Bedouin tents, desert scenery, even the stadium itself.”
The show has been in development for six months, and the cast and crew have been preparing for the show at the King Fahd International Stadium since the beginning of August.
The show will contain new technology, and 16 unprecedented acrobatic acts. However, Fortin refused to share too many details. “You’ll just have to see what we have planned at the show.” He said. “But I think you will be impressed. We’re doing things we’ve never done before.”
Tickets to the show sold out in less than 48 hours after their release; an incredible feat as the show has allocated more than 27,000 seats for the performance. Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, spokesperson for the General Entertainment Authority, was pleased— but not entirely surprised— by the public’s reaction to news of the show. “We felt that variety in the types of events we brought to Saudi Arabia was important,” he said, “and we conducted a number of research workshops to determine what sort of events would be well-received by the public. Cirque du Soleil was mentioned frequently in our research, so we’re very happy to have had the opportunity to bring them here.”
MBC head of events Omar Al Radi also expects a big response to the televising of the show, which he estimates will break records. “We’re broadcasting the show live on both our local and international channels, such as those in Europe and in America.” he said.
“We’re expecting over 200 million views. Probably record-breaking numbers. MBC is proud to have been part of bringing this historic event to Saudi Arabia, and we can’t wait for you to see it.”