Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Saudi Arabia Orders Transfer of Medical Patients Out of Canada

Saudi Arabia Orders Transfer of Medical Patients Out of Canada

Further straining ties, the Saudi central bank has instructed its overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost", the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The dispute between Riyadh and Ottawa started after Canada's Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, called for the release of a prominent Saudi women's rights activist, Samar Badawi.

"Saudi Arabia does not interfere in the affairs of Canada in any way".

"Over the past four years we have developed a strong partnership with Ma'aden, working side by side at our Jabal Sayid joint venture, and we expect that partnership will continue to deepen over time", Barrick spokesperson Andy Lloyd wrote in an email to the Globe and Mail on Wednesday. The company also has copper mines in Zambia and Chile.

The escalating trade battle between Canada and Saudi Arabia highlights the need for more pipelines to move oil and natural gas around the northern nation to improve its energy security, according to the Canadian oil industry's largest trade group. Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia totalled about $1.12 billion in 2017 or 0.2% of the total value of Canadian exports.

Saudi Arabia called that "unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states".

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently went on a global tour touting proposed economic reforms and promoting his vision for the kingdom as "the next Europe".

In the days following the kingdom has continued to announce measures against Canada, including urgent plans to remove tens of thousands of Saudi students and an unspecified number of medical patients from Canada.

Saudi scholarship recipients to Canadian universities were ordered to other countries. A Saudi airline has also interrupted flights to the North American country.

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in global tenders, European traders said.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to hold a news conference in Montreal.

The dispute looks set to damage what is a modest bilateral trade relationship worth almost $4 billion a year.

Like this: