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.

Just Posted

Surrey couple visits the Philippines each year to give back to wife’s former village

Nissa and Bob Clarkson give toys to children, provide medical-dental missions

Surrey mom says Liberal budget falls short in helping people with autism

Louise Witt, whose son has autism, says budget provisions like ‘putting a Band-Aid on a cancer’

Upbeat White Rock concert blends ecology, history

The Wilds and Tiller’s Folly raise ‘Voices for the Salish Sea’

South Surrey mother guilty of second-degree murder in death of daughter

Lisa Batstone ‘took seven decades of Teagan’s life’

STRONG, PERSEVERING AND PROUD: Surrey Pride celebrates 20 years with biggest party yet

PART ONE: A special series on the past, present and future of our LGBTQ+ community

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read