03:35 GMT27 July 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A diplomatic row between Riyadh and Ottawa will not affect Saudi oil exports or relations of the kingdom’s energy giant with Canadian clients, the Saudi energy minister said Thursday.

    Khalid Al-Falih, whose statement was cited by the state news agency SPA, said this was a "firm and longstanding policy that is not influenced by political circumstances."

    The energy chief specified that the diplomatic crisis would not "in any way" impact Saudi Aramco's relations with its customers in Canada.

    Ties between Saudi Arabia and Canada soured last week when the Canadian foreign ministry hit out at the kingdom for arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists.

    Riyadh said the remark was a breach of its sovereignty and ordered the Canadian ambassador to leave. It also froze all new trade with Canada and ordered thousands of Canadian students out.

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland remains engaged in talks with the government of Saudi Arabia, despite a worsening diplomatic crisis between the two sides.

    READ MORE: Human Rights Advocate Sees Bias in Canada's Accusations of Saudi Arabia

    The crackdown comes as Saudi Arabia otherwise touts a reform agenda to lure foreign investors, as evidenced by a recent tour by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who championed the kingdom as the future Europe of the Middle East.

    Thus far, other nations have remained on the sidelines, with US Department of State urging Canada and the Saudis to resolve the dispute with diplomacy.


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