- Saudi Arabia Freezes New Trade With Canada for Urging Activists’ Release
Saudi Arabia will suspend new trade and investment with Canada after that country’s foreign ministry urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists, it said in a statement released to the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.
It also gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada, the statement by the Saudi foreign ministry said, adding it retained “its rights to take further action.”
The Saudi ministry had been briefed that the Canadian foreign ministry and the Canadian embassy urged the Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil rights activists, the statement said.
Canadian foreign ministry officials were not available for an immediate comment on Sunday.
Last Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said Saudi Arabia had arrested women’s rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, the latest two to be swept up in a government crackdown on activists, clerics and journalists. More than a dozen women’s rights activists have been targeted since May.
On Friday, Canada said it was “gravely concerned” about the arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Badawi, the sister of jailed dissident blogger Raif Badawi.
“We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists,” Global Affairs Canada said on its Twitter feed.
Raif Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen.
Most of those arrested campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the country’s male guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male relative for major decisions.
The Saudi statement said it confirmed its commitment to refrain from intervening in the internal matters of other countries, including Canada, and in return rejected any intervention in its domestic affairs and internal relations with its citizens.
“Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs,” the statement said.
In 2014, the Canadian unit of U.S. weapons maker General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) won a contract worth up to $13 billion to build light-armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia, in what Ottawa said at the time was the largest advanced manufacturing export win in Canadian history.
Baker Hughes Set to Boost Nigerian Energy Landscape with Refinery Investments and Oil Field Bid Participation
Global oil and gas giant Baker Hughes has expressed its commitment to invest in Nigerian refineries and actively participate in the upcoming bid round for marginal oil fields, according to an announcement by the Federal Government on Sunday.
The announcement followed a meeting between Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and Baker Hughes Chairman/President Lorenzo Simonelli at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates.
During the meeting, Baker Hughes expressed its eagerness to sustain and enhance its investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, particularly showcasing interest in contributing to the country’s refinery sector.
Simonelli emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s energy transformation agenda.
“Nigeria is a blessed nation with vast potentials and great opportunities in diverse sectors. As a partner with the Federal Government over the years, we are inspired to direct investment in the refinery domain of oil and gas,” said Simonelli.
In response, Minister Lokpobiri welcomed Baker Hughes’ move, highlighting the pivotal role Nigeria plays in the global energy landscape.
He expressed optimism about deepening collaboration and assured the company of the Federal Government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for investments in the refinery sector.
“I am very happy that you have joined other companies in identifying the great opportunities and government’s favourable policies in our oil and gas sector,” Lokpobiri stated.
Additionally, the Minister’s media aide confirmed Baker Hughes’ interest in participating in Nigeria’s forthcoming marginal oil fields bid round, signaling a broader engagement in the nation’s energy sector.
This move aligns with Nigeria’s efforts to revitalize its oil and gas industry, with ongoing rehabilitation works at the country’s three refineries and the anticipation of increased investments under the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
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