Saudi freeze in Canada likely of little impact

Украина может заменить Канаду в поставках пшеницы в Саудовскую Аравию

This student recall is the latest in a number of retaliations the Saudi Arabian government has ordered in response to Canada's criticism of its treatment of human rights activists, including UBC alumna Loujain Al-Hathloul who has been detained on unknown charges since May 15.

Further straining ties, the Saudi central bank has instructed its overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost", the Financial Times reported.

Women's rights advocates, charitable organizations, and civil rights groups, meanwhile, urged the global community "to join Canada in calling for the unequivocal respect of women's rights in Saudi Arabia".

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir two days ago ruled out any mediation efforts and said the kingdom was considering taking more measures against Canada for interfering in Saudi Arabia's domestic affairs.

Making no secret of support to its "decades-long" partner, Pakistan has said that it backs Saudi Arabia in its row with Canada, and that it stands by the Saudi Kingdom in protecting its sovereignty.

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"Canada will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights", Trudeau said during an event Wednesday in Montreal. Left isolated, Canada is now looking to politically correct Germany and Sweden for support.

The 140-character limit, or 280 in some cases, is not enough to allow for the level of nuance that is required in diplomatic relations and tweets may not be subjected to the same rigorous review process, including sign off by the ambassador, that an official statement would be, he said.

Trudeau said Canada's goal is not to have a bad relationship with Saudi Arabia. "They need to resolve it together", US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told a briefing on Wednesday. "But we will continue to underline challenges when they exist there and everywhere in the world".

And in November, Germany's Foreign Minister made a veiled criticism of Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen and endured blowback, including blacklisting of some German companies.

"Prince Mohammed thinks he has license from the U.S.to confront Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, exploiting perceived tension between Washington and Ottawa over trade that emerged at the end of a Group of Seven summit in June", wrote Bloomberg's Nick Wadhams.

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