Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday there is no room for mediation in the kingdom’s escalating diplomatic dispute with Canada, and that Ottawa knew what it needed to do to “fix its big mistake”.
“There is nothing to mediate. A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh. The kingdom was still “considering additional measures” against Canada, said Jubeir, without elaborating.
Saudi Arabia on Sunday froze new trade with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador in retaliation for Ottawa’s call to free arrested Saudi civil society activists. It also ended state-backed educational and medical programs in Canada, making plans to relocate tens of thousands of Saudi students and patients to other countries.
He added that Saudi Arabia has taken action in order to explain to Canada that it has not accepted its stance, which was based on misinformation.
Al-Jubair said that the Kingdom was keen on defending the interests of Saudi citizens in Canada, stressing that Ottawa has to change its approach in dealing with Saudi Arabia.
He said that the Canadian government is the party which started the crisis and it must end it, adding that it made a mistake and must correct what it had done.
Al-Jubair pointed out that Saudi Arabia had stopped only the new investments with Canada.
He explained that several countries have supported Saudi Arabia’s stance and have opposed any interference in the Kingdom’s affairs.
Saudi Foreign Minister said that charges against the Saudi citizens who were arrested, would be made public once the cases reach the courts, repeating that they had been in touch with foreign entities.
Canadian investments in Saudi Arabia were still ongoing and would not be affected by the dispute, he said.