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

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Sylvan Lake Atom C Lakers end season on low note

The Lakers played their final home game of the season, Feb. 16.

RDC Kings Hockey to play charity game in Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake Community Partners was chosen by the Kings as the Charity of Choice for the Feb. 22 game

Bibles for Grads 2019 looking for names of Grade 12 students

Bibles for Grads is an annual tradition in Sylvan Lake dating back more than 20 years.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Shots fired in Maskwacis home invasion

Maskwacis RCMP are searching for three suspects in a home invasion (with photos)

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Crude-by-rail shipments set new record in December despite lower price discounts

Canada exported nearly 354,000 barrels per day of oil, up seven per cent from November

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Maskwacis woman dead, Wetaskiwin man charged with murder

RCMP Major Crimes Unit charge male with first degree murder

Most Read