Saudi official says Canada dispute won't affect oil sales

Sergio Conner
August 13, 2018

The consultancy said Germany and Poland were the leading wheat exporters to Saudi Arabia but poor weather could hit their exportable surplus this year.

Morneau said his department has been watching developments as they unfolded to gauge the effects on Canada's economy, but no retaliation is on the table as yet.

The Prime Minister said that Freeland held extensive talks with her Saudi counterpart, Adel Al-Jubeir, on Tuesday, without giving further details.

"We don't want to have poor relations with Saudi Arabia", he said in French.

Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Canada last Monday, and declared the ambassador of Canada in Riyadh "persona non grata", against the backdrop of what Riyadh called "explicit and blatant interference in the country's internal affairs".

Despite sharing Canada's concerns over the treatment of Saudi women activists and the state of human right in the kingdom, European Union seems to be staying away from the political minefield the Ottawa-Riyadh row presents. We can't do it for them.

APK-Inform said a recent decision by Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency to avoid buying Canadian wheat and barley in its worldwide tenders, due to a political dispute, could also enable Ukraine to sell more to Saudi.

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On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood firm, saying: "Canada will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights ... at home and overseas, wherever we see the need".

With the potential economic fallout from the Saudi actions still coming into focus, Riyadh's decision to cancel thousands of scholarships is expected to hurt - at least a little.

The world's other major military power, the United States, has stayed neutral in the dispute, after Canada similarly antagonized President Donald Trump earlier this year by publicly denouncing his stances on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, immigration and trade.

But its share price plunged when a tweet on 3 August by Canada's foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland sparked an angry response in the kingdom.

"Saudi Arabia does not interfere in the affairs of Canada in any way".

However, analysts believe that this situation can contribute to Ukraine to resume grain exports to Saudi Arabia already this year. Michael Currie, an adviser at TD Wealth, said there were some early jitters amid a report of a possible selloff of Canadian assets, but that the markets didn't take long to overcome it.

On Thursday, Morneau said he was still unsure if the General Dynamics contract would be affected.

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