Arab world condemns Canada’s ‘diplomatic failure’

Arab nations have spoken out in support of Saudi Arabia after it took trade and diplomatic measures against Canada, for comments made by the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christia Freeland. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 07 August 2018

Arab world condemns Canada’s ‘diplomatic failure’

  • Bahrain regrets Canada’s position, based on totally erroneous information that have nothing to do with reality on the ground, it absolutely rejects its unacceptable intervention in Saudi internal affairs
  • The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted on Monday that “we can only stand with Saudi Arabia in defending its sovereignty”

DUBAI: Arab countries 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.
The move came in response to statements demanding the immediate release of what Canada called “civil society and women’s rights activists” that were made on the foreign policy Twitter feed of Global Affairs Canada, retweeted by the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, and a similar tweet but its Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.
Saudi Arabia said it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and recalling its envoy while freezing all new trade.
In a strongly worded statement released on Monday, the Muslim World League condemned the Canadian government’s blatant interference.
The statement said the sovereignty of states needs to be respected and that international conventions, principles and norms have to be observed, adding that no country should interfere in another country’s matters.
The Muslim World League added that the Kingdom is governed by its constitution, regulations and legal processes which are widely known, much like the legal systems of other countries.
It stressed that Saudi Arabia has the right to take a firm stand towards the “outrageous and unprecedented diplomatic failure” of Canada.
Saudi Arabia, the statement added, is characterized by the enforcement of Islamic law, and it is wrong for people to compromise this.
Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, also expressed his support for Saudi Arabia’s actions. He condemned the Canadian statements, which he described as false and an unacceptable interference in Saudi Arabia's internal affairs.
"These statements are a clear violation of the principles of the UN Charter and also detrimental to the relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada," Dr. Al-Zayani added.
The Speaker of the Arab Parliament, Dr. Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, expressed the parliament's full solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its decision. In a statement, he said: ”The very negative and irresponsible phrase contained in the Canadian statement that Canada urges authorities in the Kingdom to release the detainees immediately constitutes an overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a condemned demand contrary to the principle of the independence of the judiciary and applying the criminal justice.”
Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, took to Twitter on Monday, saying: “We can only stand with Saudi Arabia in defending its sovereignty and taking the necessary measures to protect its laws.”
He added: “We cannot accept our laws and sovereignty becoming subject to pressure. Some countries believe that their diplomatic model and experience allows them to interfere in other’s affairs.”
Also on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed that the Palestinian people and leadership support Saudi Arabia.
In his statement published by Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, Abbas expressed his total condemnation of Canada’s blatant interference in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs, saying that he considers it a serious impingement on the sovereignty of the Kingdom.
He called on Arab states to support the Kingdom by rejecting and condemning Canada’s interference.
Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying it remained in solidarity with Saudi Arabia against any external interference in its internal affairs or any side’s attempt to undermine Saudi sovereignty.
“Bahrain also confirms its absolute support for the measures taken by the Kingdom in response to the statements made by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, on what they called civil society activists,” the statement read.
“Bahrain regrets Canada’s position, based on totally erroneous information that has nothing to do with reality on the ground. It absolutely rejects its unacceptable intervention in Saudi internal affairs.
“Bahrain affirms that it stands with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in all the measures it has taken to maintain its security and stability, stressing the need to respect the Saudi regulations and judiciary and abide by the norms and conventions governing international relations.”
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said it totally understands the Kingdom’s position requiring no interference in its internal affairs, a principal guaranteed by all international conventions and norms that reject the interference in other states’ affairs and that call for the respect of states’ sovereignty.
Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, the OIC’s secretary-general, said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign state widely respected in the regional and on the world stage. The Saudi judiciary is fully independent and has international laws that guarantee, regulate and respect the society’s activities.

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 23 min 48 sec ago

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.


GEA president Turki Al-Sheikh gave an opening speech: “Our dearest people, in the beginning of this season, we welcome you and our guests in Riyadh.

“I want to share a story with you all; once upon a time, I was from a middle-class family. My mother and father would gather both their salaries to have us travel to see the world, and then we would stay in Riyadh for a year. These were our capabilities (at the time) and there was nothing to do in Riyadh. Who would've thought that we’d see all of this in Riyadh, and in our beloved country?

“This wouldn't have been possible without -of course Allah first- a person who has the qualities and vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

He tweeted: “Riyadh traffic police estimated we have exceeded 600K which means ten times the capacity.”

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.

The parade had a special surprise; the appearance of DJ Carnage who took to the stage dressed in complete Saudi attire and performed his successful electronic show.

The musician also took to Twitter to celebrate the night and how he had had a hand in “making history,” tweeting: “A huge thank you to @Turki_alalshikh  ..... what you did for your country last night... was so special... thank you for having me... we made history.”