New information emerges on the ongoing trade dispute with Saudi Arabia. On Sunday the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia froze new investment and trade, recalled international students, and expelled the Canadian ambassador from operating in the country.
Sources widely believe the following tweet issued on August 3rd by Foreign Policy CAN was the defining factor a perceived snub which incited Saudi Arabia’s retaliatory measures:
However, the Saudi Foreign Ministry responded two days after the initial comments were made.
Twelve hours earlier, the Canadian embassy’s Twitter account, Canada in KSA, echoed the very same comments by Foreign Policy CAN from within Saudi territory in the native tongue of Arabic.
In English the tweet reads:
“Canada is deeply concerned about the additional arrests of civil society activists and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including #Samar_badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to release them immediately and all other peaceful activists in the area.”
It is reasonable to say that while the Foreign Policy CAN tweet could be perceived as uninvited criticism, the same message in Arabic by Canadian foreign ministers within the nation angered the Kingdom enough to claim that Canada was “interfering in the internal affairs of the Kingdom”.
Perhaps the fault lies not with the Canadian Foreign Ministry but rather with the questionable arabic tweet by the Canadian Embassy on Sunday morning. As a representative of Canadian foreign interest, the actions by the Canadian embassy leading up to the current dispute need to be put under closer scrutiny.