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Saudi Canada Feud – Good vs Evil?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed a man by crucifixion in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday amid trying to attack Canada on its human-rights record.-Business Insider

Saudi Arabia carries out a rare CRUCIFIXION on a Myanmar man accused of stabbing a woman to death in her home

Canada’s recent criticism of the treatment of women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia has sparked a diplomatic spat with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has frozen all trade, expelled Canada’s ambassador and ordered its citizens studying in Canada to leave.

Canada has responded by saying it “will continue to advocate for human rights”.

But the move could jeopardise a controversial C$15b ($11.5b, £9b) arms deal between the two countries.-BBC

Samar Badawi. File photo

In a statement, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry described Canada’s call to free the women’s rights activists as “blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.”

The ministry went on to threaten vague retaliation against Ottawa.

“Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian Domestic affairs,” it said.-BBC

Saudi Arabia has found support for its position among allies, including Jordan, which, in 2009, signed a free-trade deal with Canada and has accepted military training from Ottawa. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Palestinian Authority also voiced support for Saudi Arabia, as did Comoros, Djibouti and Mauritania.-The Globe and Mail

In this promotional image, taken by the Canadian Forces and hosted on the General Dynamics website, General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Lav 6 vehicles like the ones being sold to Saudi Arabia are shown carrying troops. (Combat Camera/General Dynamics)-March 2018

Canada’s multi-billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia includes a substantial number of “heavy assault” armoured vehicles and a maintenance deal that would see the Ontario-based manufacturer embed teams at multiple locations throughout the kingdom.

CBC News has obtained documents that — for the first time — lay out the major elements of the original agreement signed in early 2014 and approved by the previous Conservative government.

The $15 billion agreement was given the further blessing of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in the spring of 2016 when it began issuing permits for the export of the combat vehicles.-CBC

A Saudi Arabian organization is apologizing after posting an image on Twitter appearing to show an Air Canada plane heading toward the CN Tower in a way that is reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

“As the Arabic saying goes: ‘He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him,'” reads a caption superimposed over the image. The infographic also accuses Canada of “sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong.”-CBC

Saudi Arabia simply cannot afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran. Most importantly, Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation requires more friends than enemies. For MBS to achieve the economic and transformative vision that he espoused on his foreign tour, he needs to use ways and means that investors are accustomed to. If business executives fear a backlash over any possible criticism regarding their investment, the new vision of Saudi Arabia would be in serious jeopardy.-The Washinton Post

Criticism of the Middle East should not be directed only at Saudi Arabia. Human rights abuses are happening throughout the Arab world. For example, Egypt has jailed 60,000 opposition members and is deserving of criticism as well. The slaughter of innocent civilians in Syria and Yemen should also be highlighted, not because criticism is unfair to Saudi Arabia, but because failing to criticize creates an atmosphere that empowers authoritarian rulers to deny civil rights to their own people. -The Washinton Post

Saudi Arabia is now looking for Plan B to propel its sovereign wealth fund into the ranks of global giants. The initial plan was to raise at least $100 billion through an initial public offering of a small stake in Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, in the second half of 2018. Though the IPO is not going ahead as originally planned, the nation’s Public Investment Fund still hopes to control more than $2 trillion by 2030.-Blomberg

LONDON: The Saudi finance ministry said the country’s budget deficit in the second quarter fell by 84 percent to 7.4 billion riyals.

Saudi Arabia also said revenues surged by more than two thirds in the second quarter of the year to reach SR273.588 billion ($72.95 billion), supported by a stronger oil price.

It means the overall deficit fell to SR7.361 billion, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.-Arab News


At least 100 Pakistani workers were deported by Saudi authorities on Wednesday after being incarcerated for months, Express News reported.

The deportees arrived in Lahore via Saudi Airlines flight SV-734. Upon arrival, they were questioned and processed by immigration authorities and were later let go. The deportees said that they had pursued employment opportunities abroad for a better future.-Tribune

Muhammad bin Salman, the modernizing crown prince, has defied clerics by allowing cinemas, open-air pop concerts and even female drivers in his puritanical kingdom. But approving churches for the 1.4m Christians in Saudi Arabia risks breaking one taboo too many. “Elsewhere it’s no problem, but two dins, or religions, have no place in the Arabian peninsula,” says a senior prince, reciting a purported saying of the Prophet Muhammad. Churches were expunged by the first community of Muslims 14 centuries ago, he insists.-The Economist

Saudi Arabia has rushed to boost oil production under pressure from US President Donald Trump – only to discover that global markets might not need it yet, according to some financial experts. 

The kingdom’s crude oil output surged the most in three years last month, as the US president demanded his ally’s help in cooling petrol prices and filling in the supply gap that will be created by his sanctions on Iran.

However, the Saudis are struggling to sell as much extra oil as they’d hoped and are privately fretting that they may have opened the taps too quickly, according to people briefed by Riyadh in the last few days.- Independent, July2018

Since quitting the international nuclear agreement with Iran, the Trump administration has sent conflicting signals, indicating last month that it intended to choke off Iranian crude exports entirely.

More recently, however, officials such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have suggested a more flexible approach could be taken.

Iranian exports are already starting to fall, with shipments to Europe slumping by about 50 per cent in June, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency.-The Independent

Saudi crude exports fell by about 500,000 barrels a day to 6.7 million in the first half of July compared with the same period in June, tanker tracking by Bloomberg shows.

According to the statement on Thursday from the Energy Ministry, which cited Saudi Arabia’s liaison to Opec Adeeb Al-Aama, exports for this month as a whole will be in line with June’s levels, and will decline by 100,000 barrels a day in August.-The Independent 

More than 667,000 foreigners have left the country since the beginning of 2017, according to government data, the biggest ever outflow of expatriate workers. Foreigners have for decades played a critical role in the oil-rich kingdom’s economy, and account for about a third of Saudi Arabia’s 33m population and more than 80 percent of the private sector workforce.

“Despite the strong policy push to create more private sector Saudi jobs, and to reduce reliance on foreign labour, the latest labour market data indicate that these efforts have not been sufficient to meet the burgeoning Saudi demand for employment,” HSBC said in a research note. “Although structural change was always going to take time, there is little in the data to suggest that the impediments to more rapid ‘Saudisation’ have started to ease.” Part of Prince Mohammed’s ambitious plan to modernise the nation and decrease its dependence on oil includes creating 1.2m private sector jobs and reducing unemployment to 9 per cent by 2020.-FT, July 2018

In southern Ontario, the University of Toronto says there are 77 undergraduate and graduate Saudi students currently enrolled, as well as 216 medical residents who are being trained in hospitals affiliated with the school under a long-standing program.

Additionally, there are 115 Saudi students at York University, and 27 at Centennial College.

“Our immediate focus will be on supporting our students. We will be reaching out to them over the next few days,” said Janice Wells, spokesperson for York University. -CBC




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