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The Saudi Arabian-Canada Row: Where Things are Headed

So far, the escalation is one sided and no country is willing to risk hurting its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

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The arrogant meddling with the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has left Canada in hot waters as Riyadh just cut ties with Ottawa with immediate effect. The issue is becoming more and more critical as the Saudi government has now called back its students and all flights have been canceled.

The diplomatic feud between the two countries started with Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland asking the Saudi government to release imprisoned “So-Called” activists. Earlier, the Kingdom had called off all trade deals with Ottawa after calling back its ambassador to Canada while some reports also suggest that Saudi Arabia is selling off its assets in Canada amidst the intensifying row.

All it needed was a rash tweet from Ms. Freeland to spark an intense spat between two otherwise friendly nations.

Not just this, the row has seen the Saudi government stop all of its medical programs and citizens receiving medical aid in Canada have arranged the treatments in alternative countries. All this has made the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turn to his close allies to pacify the situation and help settle the diplomatic spat with the Kingdom.

The Trump Administration has already refused to step into the matter saying that it will not interfere in the diplomatic row between Ottawa and Riyadh. Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, has made the message loud and clear which is that the Kingdom has had enough of foreign meddling and it is time to hit back instead of sitting quietly.

The sensitive nature of the issue means that after the United States, Ottawa is in contact with Britain and the United Arab Emirates to cool down the Saudi authorities and persuade the government to lift the diplomatic sanctions imposed by the Kingdom on the North American country. With over $4 billion trade reported between the two countries last year, a lot more will be at stake this year.

Initially, both countries were not willing to back down from their stance but recently Canada is looking for some other country to help them fix their relationship with this very wealthy G20 nation.

However, it seems Saudi Arabia is rattled by the false sense of moral superiority this Canadian liberal government mistakenly feels and is thinking about taking even more severe financial actions against them.

This would mean even more sanctions is expected to be placed by the Kingdom which would eventually lead to a complete severance of ties altogether. Ottawa would not want that to happen and that is the reason why this Trudeau administration is doing its best to handle the situation, however, the root of the matter isn’t being addressed which has led the Saudi Authorities to announce that the problem lies with Canada only and it might be too late to be fixed.

 

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