In this interview with our Editor-In-Chief/Chief Executive Officer, Yusuf Ozi-Usman in Abuja, the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Nigeria, Ambassador Adnan bin Mahmoud Bostaji, clarified the issue around the sore diplomatic relation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada.
What has happened to the relationship between your country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada?
Hitherto, the bilateral relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada existed based on international norms and practices. The Saudi Arabia had, as with other nations, respected the internal sovereignty of Canada. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has always been committed to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, amongst which is Canada.
Ok, what went wrong this time?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not take it kindly when Canada began to take negative stand on the internal affairs of the Kingdom, as promoted by the Canadian foreign affairs minister and the Canadian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our quarrel came as a result of the blatant and explicit intervention into our internal affairs, which is contrary to the norms and conventions governing between the nations.
The Canadian stance represents significant and unacceptable transgression of the known limits with regard to the regulation and proceedings followed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It also transgresses Saudi Arabian judicial authority and breaches its sovereignty.
What is the specific offence of Canada?
They made false allegations against the Kingdom’s Public Prosecution Department on the detention of those whom Canadian minister of foreign affairs described as “Civil Society Activists.” The detainees were actually charged for committing crimes that necessitated their detention, and of course, they are being treated in accordance with the established procedures and their rights are guaranteed based on law and order, and they have been provided with all guarantees which they deserve at both the stages of investigation and trial.
What is the Saudi Arabian government going to do to resolve the matter with Canada?
Canada knows what to do. But for a fact, Saudi Arabia will not, I repeat; will not sit down hopelessly while other country meddles into its internal affairs and will not tolerate imposition of dictations from any country.
The Kingdom will continue to reject any attempt to encroach on its sovereign rights, amongst which is undermining the independence and integrity of its judiciary, whereby all cases that are under consideration in courts are treated without discriminating or excluding a case nor individual over the other.
What is the position of Saudi Arabia on the issue of human rights generally?
For your information, Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries that granted support to Human Rights and it had always respected all international conventions and that which agrees with its laws and proceedings. The foreign policy of Saudi Arabia is based on respect for the sovereignty of nations and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, couple with respect for internal laws of those countries.
Don’t you think your country will be isolated by many nations on this matter?
To the contrary: as at now, many countries across the globe have expressed their support for the stance taken by the Kingdom. They also reiterated their absolute rejection of one country, as in the case of Canada, meddling in the internal affairs of other nations, in this case, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the act of dictations by one country on the other, as stated in all international conventions and laws.
Thank you Your Excellency for the opportunity granted.
Thank you, you are welcome. [myad]