Saudi Arabia has announced that it is freezing all new trade and investment transactions with Canada, as well as ordering the Canadian ambassador to the leave the country, following an official Canadian tweet about human rights in the KSA.
The tweet on August 3 which sparked the repercussions was from Canada’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It urged Saudi authorities to ”immediately release” all ”peaceful human rights” and ”women’s rights activists”.
In response to the tweet, the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia released a thread of 10 statements on Twitter, accusing Canada of ”interfering in the internal affairs of the Kingdom” and then posting a picture of an official statement arguing their case.
As well as labelling the Canadian Ambassador a “persona non grata” and ordering him to leave ”within the next 24 hours,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry appeared to threaten Canada declaring that ”any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from #Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in #Canada’s internal affairs.”
The tweet by the Canadian Ministry came after the arrest of two women’s rights activists and what Human Rights Watch called an “unprecedented” crackdown on the Saudi opposition.
Saudi Arabia has been frequently criticised by Western nations for its stance on women’s rights, but this is the first time the Kingdom has responded in such a manner describing the Canadian tweet as ”an attack on the KSA” and led to the need of a ”firm stance to deter who attempts to undermine the sovereignty of the KSA.”