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Canada deals with weapons, Saudi Arabia says: NPR


Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Adel Jubeir, spoke to journalists on 23 October 2018 in Indonesia.

Achmad Ibrahim / AP


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Achmad Ibrahim / AP

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Adel Jubeir, spoke to journalists on 23 October 2018 in Indonesia.

Achmad Ibrahim / AP

Saudi Arabia expects Canada to follow the billions of dollars of weapons with the kingdom, despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in December declaring his government is seeking to withdraw from the agreement.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir told the press conference on Monday: "As far as Canadian weapons are concerned, the Canadian government is continuing the business, so the statements relate to domestic consumption."

Jubeir has not expanded his comments.

The Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman did not respond to his immediate request for a NPR comment.

In an interview on December 16, 2018, Trudeau told the Canadian CTV that Canada was "dealing with export licenses to try to see if they could no longer export these vehicles to Saudi Arabia."

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi journalist at a consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia, is one of the reasons for canceling the contract. Critics also pointed out that Saudi Arabia was involved in the Yemeni War and sought other human rights abuses to put pressure on Ottawa to withdraw its arms sales.

At that time, Canadian General Dynamics Corp., which sells armored vehicles, warned that Ottawa would be "billions of dollars in responsibility" if it resigned unilaterally. In October, Trudeau indicated that his government's hand had been contracted and that he would pay a $ 760 million fine to stop the deal.

General Dynamics refused this story.

The $ 13 billion deal for military vehicles was driven by Trudeau's predecessor, Stephen Harper.

Dennis Horak, former Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, defended the arms trade, even though he was excluded from the country in August 2018 in a diplomatic order.

"The equipment we sell is governed by an export control system that is strong and prevalent and has been sold to them for more than 25 years," said Horak to CBC News. "There are no records of these vehicles and tools for human rights abuses."

Tensions between the two countries intensified last August after Chrystia Freeland's Canadian Foreign Minister criticized Saudi Arabia for violating human rights.

"We will always talk about human rights; we will always talk about women's rights and this will not change," Freeland said at a press conference in August.

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