Nigeria urges Canada, Saudi to resolve ‘hiccup’ in their relations

Nigeria urges Canada, Saudi to resolve ‘hiccup’ in their relations

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Geoffrey Onyeama: Foreign Affairs Minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has called on governments of Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve the ‘hiccup’ in their hitherto ‘very friendly’ relations.

Onyeama made the call when the Charge d’Affairs of the High Commission of Canada in Nigeria, Mr James Christoff, paid him a visit on Tuesday in Abuja.

A statement by the ministry’s Spokesperson, Dr Tope Elias-Fatile, quoted Onyeama as urging both countries to be mindful of each other’s principles and sensitivities.

The Minister, who raised the issue of the ‘hiccup’ in relations between both countries, expressed optimism that it would be resolved soon.

He said that both countries have very close ties with Nigeria.

Christoff had earlier said he was in the ministry to discuss bilateral relations between his country and Nigeria.

He said the purpose of his visit was also to condole the country about the tragic event of a Nigerian, who died while being deported from Canada.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the diplomatic feud between Saudi Arabia and Canada was triggered by a tweet criticising the Gulf kingdom’s human rights record.

Following the tweets, posted Aug. 5, the feud has worsened with media in both countries piling on and urging government officials in their respective countries not to back down.

The Saudis have expelled Canada’s ambassador and recalled her own envoy from Ottawa.

It has also ordered home 15,000 scholarship students studying in Canadian universities and hospitals and frozen bilateral trade and investment, including halting barley and wheat imports.

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