Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with Canada: An explainer

Clay Curtis
August 7, 2018

Speaking to reporters in Vancouver on Monday, Freeland said Canada is "very comfortable" with its position that led to the new measures announced by Saudi Arabia.

The image, which showed an Air Canada plane aimed at Toronto's skyline, attracted criticism soon after it was posted.

Saudi Arabia froze new trade and investment with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador, in a stern gesture of retaliation after Ottawa urged it to free arrested civil society activists.

In its first response to the row, the Canadian foreign ministry said: "we are seriously concerned by these media reports and are seeking greater clarity on the recent statement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".

Mr Al Yami said Saudi Arabia conducted all the necessary legal procedures as dictated by its own law.

"Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women's rights and freedom of expression around the world".

"Canada will continue to advocate for human rights and for the courageous women and men who push for these fundamental rights around the world".

Samar was arrested along with fellow campaigner Nassima al-Sadah last week, the latest victims of what Human Rights Watch called an "unprecedented government crackdown on the women's rights movement".

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The 60-transponder, all C-band satellite separated from the rocket's upper stage nearly 32 minutes later. The first-stage booster previously soared in May, the first time out the gate for this upgraded rocket.

Both the Saudi and Canadian ambassadors were away on leave when it was made.

Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their three children.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said it is hard to determine what the economic impact on Canada would be without specifics on which trade deals will be affected. "Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi".

On one hand, it would be a bad scenario to cancel the arms deals, but on the other, many human rights groups have criticized Canada's decision to sell armoured vehicles to a regime with a "horrible human rights record", Juneau said.

There could be a sentiment among allies that, "Finally the Trudeau government is getting poked back in the eye by the Saudis".

In April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his "serious concern" over the continued jailing of Raif Badawi to Saudi King Salman.

When asked about the contract, Freeland said the government "looks forward" to hearing from Riyadh about the future of the deal.

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