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Saudi official says Canada dispute won't affect oil sales

AP  |  Dubai 

Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with over its arrest of women's rights activists will not affect the ultraconservative kingdom's to Canadian customers, the Saudi minister said today.

The remarks by show the limits of the ongoing quarrel and may calm some of the bluster surrounding the dispute that suddenly erupted on Monday over Canadian diplomats' tweets asking the kingdom to release the detained activists.

A statement carried by the state-run quoted al-Falih as saying are not affected by as there is a "firm and longstanding policy that is not influenced by political circumstances."

"The current diplomatic crisis between and will not, in any way, impact Saudi Aramco's relations with its customers in Canada," the statement said, referring the

Canada, itself one of the world's five top producers, gets some 10 per cent of its from Bilateral trade between the two nations is USD 3 billion a year.

expelled the Canadian on Monday and froze "all new business" with over its criticism of the kingdom's arrest of women's rights activists.

Among the arrested activists is Samar Badawi, whose brother was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam while blogging.

Canadian said yesterday that his nation would continue diplomatic talks with Saudi Arabia but wouldn't back down on raising human rights issues.

"will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights," he said.

Saudi Arabia plans to pull out thousands of students and medical patients from Canada over the spat.

Since the crisis began, Saudi state-run television and other channels backing the kingdom have been airing programs criticizing Canada and accusing it of jailing "prisoners of conscience."

The sudden decision bore the hallmarks of Saudi Arabia's assertive 32-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, who also was the of the country's war in and involved in the ongoing boycott of by four Arab nations.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 09 2018. 18:00 IST