Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister demanded an apology from Canada for its criticism the Mideast kingdom’s human rights record. As Reuters reports, Adel al-Jubeir raised the issue in New York at a Wednesday meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, asking if Canada thinks Saudi Arabia is “a banana republic.”
“It is outrageous from our perspective that a country will sit there and lecture us and make demands … We demand the immediate release and independence of Quebec, granting of equal rights to Canadian Indians. What on earth are you talking about?” al-Jubeir told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday night.
“You can criticize us about human rights, women’s rights … others do, and that’s your right. You can sit down and talk about it, but demand the immediate release? What are we a banana republic? Would any country accept it? No! We don’t,” al-Jubeir said.
The diplomatic tit for tat between Canada and Saudi Arabia began in August when Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her disgust over Saudi Arabia’s treatment of political dissidents. Saudi Arabia quickly responded with trade sanctions and a recall of its foreign students. (RELATED: Saudi Arabia Gets Mad After Canada Says To Release Jailed Civil Rights Activists, Expels Ambassador And Freezes Trade)
Freeland said Tuesday that she is hoping to meet with al-Jubeir while the two are at the United Nations.