Several Arab states have jumped at the chance to support Saudi Arabia in a recent diplomatic spat with Canada, after its criticism of the ultraconservative kingdom’s arrest of women’s rights activists.
The UAE has voiced its support for Saudi Arabia and its “absolute rejection” of any interference in its domestic affairs in the wake of a diplomatic spat with Canada that has seen its ambassador declared persona non grata in the kingdom.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also released a statement saying it remained in solidarity with Saudi Arabia against any external interference in its internal affairs or any side’s attempt to undermine Saudi sovereignty.
“Bahrain also confirms its absolute support for the measures taken by the Kingdom in response to the statements made by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, on what they called civil society activists,” the statement read.
The dispute stems from a statement last week from Canada’s foreign ministry in which the country said it was “gravely concerned” over a wave of arrests of women and human rights campaigners in the kingdom.
In response, Saudi Arabia expelled Ottawa’s ambassador in Riyadh, frozen trade and investment relations with Canada and suspended academic scholarships to Canada, with the Saudi foreign ministry saying the Canadian position is “an overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
The Arab League, for its part, also condemned Canada’s position on the Saudi detainees, saying that the dispute between the kingdom and Canada ‘reflects a non-positive attitude developed by some countries that point fingers of criticism at other countries in regards to their internal affairs.”
A similar statement was issued by the Arab Parliament, in which parliament speaker Dr. Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami said that the Canadian statement was “very negative and irresponsible.”
Other statements of support for Saudi Arabia by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani, who said that the Canadian statement contained “false claims.”
Source Credit: Arab news