Saudi Arabia is not a banana Republic, warns Foreign Minister

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Saudi Arabia is not a banana Republic, warns Foreign Minister

UNITED NATIONS - Saudi Arabia s foreign minister has hit out against Canada over ongoing spat between the two states.

He asked Canada to apologise for demanding the release of Saudi women s rights activists and stop treating the kingdom as "a banana republic" if it wanted to resolve a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.

In August, Saudi Arabia froze new trade with Canada, blocked grain imports, expelled Canada s ambassador and ordered all Saudi students home after Ottawa called for the release of activists detained for urging more rights for women.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday she hoped to meet with her Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

"It is outrageous from our perspective that a country will sit there and lecture us and make demands ... We demand the immediate release and independence of Quebec, granting of equal rights to Canadian Indians. What on earth are you talking about?," al-Jubeir said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday night.