Trudeau notches a win as Canada accepts Saudi refugee

15 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

MONTREAL: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau notched himself a political win ahead of Canadian legislative elections by granting asylum to the teenage Saudi girl fleeing her parents, experts here say, reports AFP.

Trudeau sent Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland to greet 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun as the young woman landed in Toronto on Saturday.

As Freeland clutched Qunun’s arm in the presence of reporters from across the globe she reminded everyone that human rights were Canada’s priorities under Trudeau—especially the rights of women in countries like Saudi Arabia.

By granting Qunun asylum, Canada was “standing up for human rights around the world, and we believe very strongly that women’s rights are human rights,” Freeland said.

Accepting the Saudi teen was “very good on a humanitarian level,” said Ferry de Kerckhove, a Canadian former diplomat and current professor at the University of Ottawa, “but it’s also a very good move for the prime minister and for Canada.”