Egypt voices support to Saudi Arabia in diplomatic row with Canada

Menna Alaa El-Din, Wednesday 8 Aug 2018

Egypt Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt expressed on Tuesday its support for Saudi Arabia in a growing diplomatic spat between Canada and the Arab kingdom after Ottawa expressed concern over the Saudi government's arrest of women's rights activists earlier this week.

In an official statement late on Tuesday, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that the dispute between the two countries comes as a direct result of the “interference of some international and regional sides lately in the domestic affairs of many countries in the region.”

Abu Zeid affirmed Egypt’s support for the stability and sovereignty of all Arab states, and stressed its solidarity with Saudi Arabia in rejecting any foreign interference in domestic affairs and attempts to undermine sovereignty.

Egypt’s statement comes nearly one day after Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador and froze “all new business” with Ottawa over its criticism of the arrest of women rights activists.

Saudi Arabia also suspended the scholarships of the roughly 15,000 Saudi students in Canada.

The Arab country also stopped all medical treatment programmes in Canada and is coordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals to other countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Several Arab countries, including the UAE and Bahrain, have expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s move, while others, including the US, have called for the row to be solved diplomatically.

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