Abbas backs Saudi Arabia

Despite Canada's support for PA, Abbas backs Saudi Arabia in its diplomatic dispute with Canada.

Dalit Halevi ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday expressed support for Saudi Arabia in its diplomatic dispute with Canada.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced it had suspended new trade and investment with Canada, gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada, after the Canadian foreign ministry urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists.

The official Saudi statement accused the Canadian Foreign Ministry of blatant interference in the kingdom's internal affairs, which was described as "an insult to Saudi Arabia's judicial system and a violation of its sovereignty."

Abbas on Monday condemned "the interference of any party in the internal affairs of the Saudi kingdom."

"This is a violation of the sovereignty of the Saudis," added the PA chairman.

The Canadian government is sympathetic towards the PA. Shortly after the establishment of the Trudeau government in November 2015, it announced an increase in the aid to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”.

Last week, Canada announced the transfer of another $50 million to help the PA.