OTTAWA – Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic Tony Clement, and International Human Rights and Religious Freedom Critic David Anderson, said today that the killing of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and certain other Saudi dissidents in Saudi Arabia is contrary to political and basic human rights. They issued the following statement: “Canada’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is strategically important, for our security and for the security of the region. As well, Iran’s support for terrorism and its fomenting of tensions across the Middle East including in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain are threats to peace and stability in the region. However, the execution of Nimr al-Nimr in particular hurts Saudi and regional security by unnecessarily further inflaming Sunni/Shia tensions, where sectarianism remains one of the greatest challenges facing the region.‎ “We share Saudi concerns about Iran’s efforts to export their violent ideology in the region, but alienating moderate Shias in the midst of these tensions is deeply counter-productive. “The Conservative caucus calls on the government of Saudi Arabia to seek improved relations and dialogue with the moderate Shia community, both in and outside their country. We call on the Canadian government to raise these issues with the Saudi government at the first opportunity.”