In this Feb. 1, 2015 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a news conference in Manama, Bahrain. The federal government is showing no apparent signs of toughening its stance on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, even after Canada’s spy chief heard a recording of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Hasan Jamali/AP)

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

The Canadian government is showing no signs of toughening its stance on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, even after Canada’s spy chief heard a recording of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

When asked Tuesday how Canada intends to proceed from here, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated Ottawa’s position that no new weapons-export permits will be signed for Saudi Arabia for now.

“We are reviewing our arms sales to Saudi Arabia in view of this killing and, obviously, during this period of review no new arms export permits will be signed,” Freeland said in Windsor, Ont.

That’s no different from what Canada’s been saying for weeks.

READ MORE: Turkey to Saudi Arabia: Where is Khashoggi’s body?

READ MORE: Penalty for cancelling Saudi arms contract ‘in the billions’: Trudeau

CSIS director David Vigneault recently travelled to Turkey to listen to the recording Turkish authorities have of Khashoggi’s killing and briefed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as other top officials upon his return.

“Canada is very clear that those who are responsible for this atrocious murder must bear full responsibility for that,” Freeland said when asked how hearing the recording affects the government’s position.

Khashoggi’s death last month at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul has further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Canada.

His killing — which brought international condemnation of Riyadh — also renewed public outrage in Canada over Ottawa’s controversial $15-billion deal to sell light armoured vehicles to the kingdom. Ottawa has come under pressure to cancel the armoured-vehicles contract, but Trudeau has said the penalty for doing so would be “in the billions of dollars.”

Freeland said she spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday to press for a credible, transparent investigation into the Khashoggi case.

Under intensifying pressure, Riyadh has changed its story about Khashoggi’s death, first saying he walked out of the consulate the day he disappeared but eventually acknowledging he was killed inside the building. Saudi Arabia has also recently acknowledged Turkish evidence that showed the slaying was premeditated.

“The explanations which have been offered thus far by Saudi Arabia lack credibility and consistency,” Freeland said Tuesday after meeting with union members in Windsor.

“The killing of Jamal Khashoggi is a truly horrific crime. We are obviously worried about the killing of any human being, but it is particularly worrying to us because this is yet another example of the ability of journalists to do their job being curtailed.”

Trudeau has also condemned the killing, but when asked about the recording earlier this week he offered no clues about how it might have affected his thoughts on the matter.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan’s oldest mayor shows no sign of slowing down

Mayor James Baker has decades of history in his political career

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Kelowna man sets personal best at 2019 Boston Marathon

Vik Bains returns from Boston with a sub-3 hour time

Truck crashed and dumped near Predator Ridge

Police are looking for two men in connection with a stolen vehicle

FOODIE FRIDAY: Brodo Kitchen makes special poutine

Brodo Kitchen features homemade comfort food and a spin on Gnocchi, transformed into poutine

Storytelling preserves Secwepemc culture, history in Shuswap

Neskonlith councillor Louis Thomas to share his craft at Word on the Lake Writers’ Fest in Salmon Arm

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Man seriously injured after driving wrong way down B.C. highway

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Candidates ready for Summerland Blossom Pageant

Royalty pageant will be held at Centre Stage Theatre on May 3 and 4

Shuswap society finds pets often suffer in domestic abuse cases

SPCA, SAFE Society working together to provide shelter for pets of women fleeing abuse

Most Read