Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks at a press conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, August 6, 2018 as MP Randy Boissonnault looks on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong

Canada still seeking clarity from Saudi Arabia on diplomatic dispute

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia suspended diplomatic ties with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador.

A federal official says Canada remains unclear about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking in response to Canadian criticism of its human rights policies.

The official says Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with her Saudi counterpart Tuesday in part to get clarity about the measures, including one report that said Saudi banks and pension funds had been ordered to sell off their Canadian assets.

Saudi Arabia has not confirmed that report, and the official — who spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter — says a full understanding of their plans remains elusive.

The official says Freeland made clear to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir that Canada’s foreign policy is to express its position publicly, not just behind closed doors.

Freeland has also discussed the situation with counterparts in Sweden and Germany, but hasn’t yet connected with anyone in the U.S. or the U.K., which have so far not expressed public support for Canada’s position.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia suspended diplomatic ties with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador after Freeland and her department issued tweets criticizing the arrest of social activists and asking for their immediate release.

Related: Freeland says waiting on Saudi Arabia’s next moves amid diplomatic spat

Related: B.C. officials seek clarity after Saudi Arabia to reportedly remove students

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack teen found, safe and sound

RCMP ‘pleased to confirm’ teen has been located

Health officials are restricting visitor access to facilities in Chilliwack and Hope

Access rules for CGH and RCH, long-term care homes, and assisted living facilities have changed

COVID-19 case diagnosed at Abbotsford rehabilitation residence

First Abbotsford care home to have confirmed COVID-19 case

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Surrey MLA Jinny Sims cleared of criminal wrongdoing

She resigned her cabinet post during RCMP investigation

Most Read