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

Port McNeill council debates agreement with chamber of commerce

The chamber proposed a ‘Fee for Service Agreement’ at an annual cost to the town of $5,000.

Salvation Army’s kettle campaign kicks off Nov. 21 in the North Island

The Salvation Army still needs more volunteers to help make the campaign easier to run.

New Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula hybrid ferry sets sail for B.C.

Two Island Class ferries are on their way from Romania

Talks between Western Forest Products and union break down

No more negotiations imminent between United Steelworkers 1-1937 and company

Port Hardy council to apply for poverty reduction program grant funding

How should the District of Port Hardy deal with the issue of poverty?

‘I was bawling’: Injured Bronco’s mother stunned by his progress after surgery

Ryan Straschnitzki isn’t expecting a cure but hopes to restore some muscle movement

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

Services needed in B.C. for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

65-million-year-old triceratops fossil arrives in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a Triceratops prosus

B.C. widow sues health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

B.C. woman banned from owning animals after horrific dog abuse case

Melissa Tooshley gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog case

Most Read