Saudi Arabia says quarrel with Canada will not stop oil shipments

Saudi Arabia says quarrel with Canada will not stop oil shipments

Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic dispute with Canada over its arrest of women’s rights activists will not affect the kingdom’s oil sales to Canadian customers, the Saudi energy minister said Thursday.

Canada, itself one of the world’s five top energy producers, gets some 10 per cent of its oil imports from Saudi Arabia. Bilateral trade between the two nations is US$3 billion a year.

Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador on Monday and froze “all new business” with Ottawa over its criticism of the kingdom’s arrest of women’s rights activists. Among the arrested activists is Samar Badawi, whose writer brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam while blogging.

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