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Aug 9, 2018

SNC-Lavalin warns of ‘impact’ if Canada-Saudi feud escalates

SNC-Lavalin warns of ‘impact’ amid escalating Canada-Saudi feud

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As tensions escalate between Canada and Saudi Arabia over human rights, Canadian engineering and infrastructure giant SNC-Lavalin is warning it could get caught in the crossfire if the feud continues.

“If a widespread commercial embargo on Canadian commercial interests in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were to be implemented on a prolonged basis, there will be an impact on our future financial performance,” SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. said in a release late Wednesday.

SNC has been operating in Saudi Arabia for decades. It generated $992 million in revenue in the country last year, representing about 11 per cent of total sales.

The company’s warning came the same day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed that Canada will “always speak strongly and clearly” on human rights.



Trudeau was speaking just hours after Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Riyadh that it's up to Canada to step up and fix its "big mistake."

The dispute between the two countries began Aug. 2 when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland posted a tweet calling for the release of Saudi women’s rights activist Samar Badawi.

Saudi Arabia immediately responded by suspending all new trade agreements with Canada, recalled its ambassador, gave Canada’s envoy 24 hours to exit the country, and its state airline cancelled flights to Canada.
 

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