new trade

Saudi Arabia freezes new trade with Canada

MNA Business Desk: Saudi Arabia will suspend new trade and investment with Canada after that country’s foreign ministry urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists, it said in a statement released to the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

It also gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada, the statement by the Saudi foreign ministry said, adding it retained “its rights to take further action.”

The Saudi ministry had been briefed that the Canadian foreign ministry and the Canadian embassy urged the Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil rights activists, the statement said.

Canadian foreign ministry officials were not available for an immediate comment on Sunday.

Last Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said Saudi Arabia had arrested women’s rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, the latest two to be swept up in a government crackdown on activists, clerics and journalists. More than a dozen women’s rights activists have been targeted since May, reported news agency.

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