The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, since the time of the founding King Abdulaziz Al Saud, has never accepted dictations or interferences in its internal affairs, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said today.
At a news conference at the Saudi Foreign Ministry's premises in the Saudi capital, Al Jubair pointed out that the crisis with Canada was "imposed on us because of Canada's flagrant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom, as it began with the statement of the Canadian Foreign Minister and Riyadh-based Canadian embassy, over the so-called civil society activists, detained in the Kingdom, calling for their immediate release."
The top diplomat dismissed Canada's interference as unacceptable and irrelevant to human rights issues, saying it rather "relates to matters of state security as confirmed by the Kingdom as the detention of those mentioned was done by the competent authority, or the Public Prosecution, on charges of committing crimes that necessitate arresting them, in accordance with applicable legal procedures that guarantee their legitimate rights and provide them with all safeguards, during the investigation and trial phases."
Those arrested "contacted with foreign parties and recruited people, in sensitive domains, to obtain information and communicate them to parties hostile to Saudi Arabia, in order to be used against the Kingdom," he added.
Al-Jubeir reaffirmed that the Kingdom respects all views and accept appropriate criticism, however it does not accept dictations, pointing out the Kingdom does not seek to impose its principle on any entity. "The Kingdom has secured the support of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, with the exception of the state of Qatar, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)," he said, noting that Canada must understand that what it has done is unacceptable to the Kingdom and the Arab countries.
"The Kingdom has taken these measures to make it clear to Canada that it does not accept interference in its internal affairs," he added, explaining that these measures include recalling Saudi ambassador to Canada and considering the Canadian Ambassador to the Kingdom as Persona-non-Grata besides the suspension of bilateral investment and trade relations and stopping of civil flights between the Kingdom and Canada.
Work also is in progress, the minister added, to withdraw Saudi students and patients from Canada and send them to other countries.
Concerned authorities will ensure full implementation of these measures, he noted, reaffirming that Canada's actions are unacceptable.
"Saudi Arabia is a country with full sovereignty and prestige and never accepts dictations or interventions in its internal affairs," he said, adding that Canada must change its policies and approaches, in dealing with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.