By Isaac Aregbesola
Foreign Affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama has appealed to 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.
The minister urged 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.
Onyeama said that both countries had very close ties with Nigeria.
Christoff earlier said he was in the in the ministry to discuss bilateral relations between his country and Nigeria.
He said that the purpose of his visit was also to condole with the country on the incident 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 criticizing the Gulf kingdom’s human rights record.
Following the tweets posted August 5, the feud has only worsened, with media in both countries piling on and urging government officials in their respective countries to not back down.
The Saudis have expelled Canada’s ambassador and recalled their own envoy from Ottawa.
It has also recalled 15,000 scholarship students studying at Canadian universities and hospitals, and frozen bilateral trade and investment, including halting barley and wheat imports. (NAN)