Just Few days after the diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada over Riyadh’s detention of human rights activists, Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri rushed to voice “solidarity’ with the Gulf Kingdom.
A more obvious double standard code exists in Hariri’s policy towards Saudi Arabia, which abducted the Lebanese PM-designate himself earlier in November 2017, in a move that sparked international concerns over the Saudi Kingdom’s interference in regional affairs.
Last week, tensions rose between Canada and Saudi Arabia when Riyadh declared the Canadian ambassador “persona non grata” and gave him 24 hours to leave the country. The Saudis have also summoned their ambassador to Canada, suspended all new business transactions and investments linked with Canada, and cancelled direct flights to Toronto by Saudi’s state airline.
The move was over recent arrests of several prominent human rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Canada’s foreign ministry expressed concern over the arrest of Saudi civil society and women’s rights activists, in a tweet that echoed concerns previously voiced by the United Nations.
For his part, Saad Hariri sided with Saudi Arabia against Canada, a statement from his office said.
“In principle, we are committed to countries not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries,” Hariri was quoted as saying to reporters before he headed a Future Movement bloc meeting earlier this week.
“We respect the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia in its judiciary and laws,” Hariri said.
“We stand in solidarity with the kingdom in its stance,” he added.
“We hope that the Canadian government will reconsider its stance to continue the friendly relations that have long tied it with the kingdom.”
Hariri himself has repeatedly stressed Lebanon’s commitment to the so-called dissociation policy from regional conflicts, starting from Syria, to Bahrain, Iraq and Yemen. However, it seems that when it comes to Saudi Arabia Hariri can never commit to this policy!