Maldives backs Saudi over Canada row

Maldives government on Wednesday backed Saudi Arabia over the ongoing diplomatic row with Canada.

The row was sparked when Canada said it was “gravely concerned” by the arrest of women’s rights campaigners in Saudi Arabia, including award-winning activist Samar Badawi.

In response, Saudi has expelled the Canadian ambassador from Riyadh and recalled his Saudi counterpart in Ottawa.

The Middle Eastern giant it suspended all Saudi state airline flights to Toronto, ended thousands of scholarship programs for Saudi students in Canada, and froze “all new trade” with Ottawa.

Maldives foreign ministry in a statement expressed concern over the row but insisted that any attempts made a country to interfere with the internal affairs or threaten the sovereignty of another country was "a clear violation of the international conventions and norms of conduct between states."

"The Government of Maldives affirms its full solidarity with the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in supporting the policies and actions adopted to uphold its sovereignty," the statement read.

It is important for all states to respect and honour the noble principles of the United Nations Charter and resolve their differences amicably through diplomacy and dialogue.