Tag Archives: Saudi

Saudi Arabia hints at plan to turn Qatar into an island

Saudi Arabia hints at plan to turn Qatar into an islandA Saudi official hinted Friday the kingdom was moving forward with a plan to dig a canal that would turn the neighbouring Qatari peninsula into an island, amid a diplomatic feud between the Gulf nations. “I am impatiently waiting for details on the implementation of the Salwa island project, a great, historic project that will change the geography of the region,” Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said on Twitter. The plan, which would physically separate the Qatari peninsula from the Saudi mainland, is the latest stress point in a highly fractious 14-month long dispute between the two states.



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U.S. is committed to Canada, Saudi Arabia ties amid spat: State Dept.

U.S. is committed to Canada, Saudi Arabia ties amid spat: State Dept.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland that the United States was committed to its close partnerships with both Canada and Saudi Arabia, his spokeswoman said on Thursday amid a diplomatic spat between the two U.S. allies. Pompeo was the highest-level U.S. official to weigh in publicly on the dispute between Ottawa and Riyadh, which have clashed over the arrest of activists in Saudi Arabia over the past month. The dispute started when Canada called for civil society activists to be freed from jail.



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Saudi Arabia seeks its first death penalty against a female human rights activist

Saudi Arabia seeks its first death penalty against a female human rights activistSaudi Arabia's public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against five human rights activists from the kingdom's Eastern Province currently on trial in a secretive terrorism court, groups including Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. Among the detainees is Israa al-Ghomgham, whom Saudi activists said was the first woman to possibly face the death penalty for rights-related work. Charges against her include incitement to protest and providing moral support to rioters. "Any execution is appalling, but seeking the death penalty for activists like Israa al-Ghomgham, who are not even accused of violent behavior, is monstrous," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, said in a statement on Wednesday. ALQST, a London-based Saudi rights group, reported the decision involving Ghomgham's case earlier this week. A government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Activists said the trial was ongoing, and denied social media reports that the detainees had already been executed. Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy where public protests and political parties are banned, has enacted some high-profile social and economic reforms in recent years under powerful young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They have, however, been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, with dozens of clerics, intellectuals and activists arrested in the past year, including women who had campaigned for the right to drive in the deeply conservative Muslim country. A roundup of senior royals, ministers and businessmen last November on charges of corruption sent shockwaves through the kingdom, stunning allies and foreign investors. Most of those detainees were released after reaching undisclosed financial settlements with the government. Ghomgham is a prominent Shia Muslim activist who documented mass demonstrations in the Eastern Province starting in 2011. She was arrested from her home in December 2015 along with her husband. Most of the country’s Shia minority lives in the oil-producing Eastern Province and some have complained that their religious ceremonies are banned or interfered with by Sunni authorities, and that they lack opportunities for work and education. The government has denied the charges. Saudi Arabia has previously executed Shia activists on what rights groups called politically-motivated charges. It views protests among Shia in the context of tensions with Shi’ite power and regional rival Iran, which it has accused of fomenting the unrest. The authorities have carried out security operations against suspected Shia militants in the Eastern Province, which has seen unrest and occasional armed attacks for years.



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Saudi Arabia prepares for the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia prepares for the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimageMECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia is preparing to host the annual hajj pilgrimage beginning Sunday, as over 2 million Muslim faithful are ready to take part in the ultraconservative kingdom.



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The New Saudi Arabia Is A Lot Like The Old Saudi Arabia When It Comes To Women

The New Saudi Arabia Is A Lot Like The Old Saudi Arabia When It Comes To WomenWhen Hala Al-Dosari told her father in 2013 that she planned to join the



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Saudi critics jab Canada on Twitter and TV as diplomatic feud deepens

Saudi critics jab Canada on Twitter and TV as diplomatic feud deepensJustin Trudeau said his government was engaging with Saudi Arabia to resolve the spat but stood firm on Canada’s stance. Soon after Saudi Arabia announced that Canada’s ambassador to the kingdom was now persona non grata, a surge of Saudi Twitter accounts began expressing concerns about Canada’s treatment of indigenous peoples.



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Saudi Arabia ends medical programmes and moves patients out of Canada in deepening diplomatic row

Saudi Arabia ends medical programmes and moves patients out of Canada in deepening diplomatic rowSaudi Arabia is transferring all Saudi patients currently receiving medical treatment in Canada to different countries as the diplomatic row between Riyadh and Ottawa shows no sign of abating. All Saudi medical treatment programmes in Canada have been cancelled and arrangements are already underway to move patients out of the country, a state-run Saudi news agency said on Wednesday, citing Fahd bin Ibrahim Al Tamimi, the Saudi health attaché to the US and Canada. The move comes after Saudi Arabia took the stern step this week of expelling the Canadian ambassador and suspending all new trade and investment between the two countries – a retaliation for criticism of the arrests of Saudi civil rights activists.



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Canada to ask allies to help cool Saudi dispute; U.S. offers no aid

Canada to ask allies to help cool Saudi dispute; U.S. offers no aidBy David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada plans to seek help from the United Arab Emirates and Britain to defuse an escalating dispute with Saudi Arabia, sources said on Tuesday, but close ally the United States made clear it would not get involved. The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada’s envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for urging the release of jailed rights activists. Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.



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Canada defiant after Saudi Arabia freezes new trade over human rights call

Canada defiant after Saudi Arabia freezes new trade over human rights callBy Aziz El Yaakoubi and David Ljunggren RIYADH/OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada on Monday refused to back down in its defense of human rights after Saudi Arabia froze new trade and investment and expelled the Canadian ambassador in retaliation for Ottawa’s call to free arrested Saudi civil society activists. In her first public response to Saudi Arabia’s actions, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women’s rights are human rights.” Riyadh on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave.



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Thanks To Trump, Saudi Arabia Won’t Accept Even Mild Criticism From Its Friends Now

Thanks To Trump, Saudi Arabia Won’t Accept Even Mild Criticism From Its Friends NowWASHINGTON ― Saudi Arabia's steadily escalating spat with Canada over a



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