October 24, 2018
Canada’s Prime Minister says it is “very difficult” to drop the $1 billion deal on arms sales to Riyadh. It comes despite mounting allegations that the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was “pre-planned.”
The murder of the self-exiled writer which Turkey says was planned beforehand “is something that is extremely preoccupying to Canadians, to Canada and to many of our allies around the world” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged. However, even on the heels of the latest tough accusations from Ankara, the North American country is not mulling to halt arms deliveries to the Saudi kingdom.
The contract signed by the previous government, by Stephen Harper, makes it very difficult to suspend or leave that contract
Should Canada terminate the deal, massive penalties will follow immediately, taking a toll on taxpayers.
“I do not want to leave Canadians holding a billion-dollar bill because we are trying to move forward on doing the right thing,” the liberal premier added without elaborating on what “the right thing” would look like.
Less than two weeks ago, he also signaled that Canadian-Saudi arms trade will go on as usual, despite again voicing “concerns”about Khashoggi’s fate.
According to documents obtained by CBC News in September, Saudi Arabian armed forces are to take delivery of 742 Canadian-built LAV-6 light armored vehicles. The same outlet revealed in March that hundreds of the LAV-6s will be furnished with heavy assault and anti-tank weapons systems.
Public outcry over the disappearance of prominent Saudi Arabia critic Khashoggi has been mounting since his mysterious disappearance in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. During a speech on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there was “strong evidence” indicating that the journalist “was slain in a vicious, violent murder.”