Nigeria placates Canada, Saudi Arabia

Adoba Echono, Abuja


The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has appealed to Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve the ‘hiccup’ in their hitherto “very friendly relations’’.

Mr. Onyeama made the call when the Charge d’Affairs of the High Commission of Canada in Nigeria, Mr James Christoff, paid him a visit in Abuja.

A diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Canada was triggered by a tweet criticizing the Gulf kingdom’s human rights record.

Following the tweets posted, the row worsened, with the media in both countries urging government officials in their respective countries not to back down.

The Minister urged both countries to be mindful of each other’s principles and sensitivities.

Mr. Onyeama, who raised the issue of the ‘hiccup’ in relations between both countries, expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved soon.

He said that both countries had very close ties with Nigeria.

The High Commission of Canada in Nigeria, Mr. Christoff, said that he was in the ministry to discuss bilateral relations between his country and Nigeria.

He stated 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 Saudis have expelled Canada’s Ambassador and recalled their own envoy from Canada.