Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir demanded an apology from Canada on Wednesday, denouncing an “outrageous” tweet by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland directed at the kingdom last month, and accusing them of treating the kingdom like “a banana republic.”
“What are we? A banana republic? Would any country accept this?” al-Jubeir said at an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “You owe us an apology. It is very easy to fix — apologize, say you made a mistake.”
Jubeir’s comments cast doubt over rumors that both countries would reach a quick resolution. Freeland had mentioned that she intended to speak to Jubeir on the sidelines of the UN meetings this week.
However, Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia’s stance in the dispute remains the same, and that Canada did not change its stance either.
“We did not do this, you did. Fix it. You owe us an apology. Apologize, say you made a mistake,” he said. “In Canada we became a political football. Find another ball to play with, not Saudi Arabia.”
Jubeir also criticized Canada for making such demands, adding that many countries like the US, UK and Germany have criticized Saudi Arabia over similar issues before, but never made demands.
“It is outrageous from our perspective that a country will sit there and lecture us, and make demands. ‘We demand the immediate release’.. Really? We demand the immediate independence of Quebec and the equal granting of rights to Canadian Indians,” Jubeir said.