Human rights group demands German, EU intervention in Canada-Saudi row

Pakistan supports Saudi Arabia in diplomatic row with Canada

Trudeau stands firm amid dispute with Saudi Arabia

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to extend an olive branch on Wednesday, saying he would keep pressing Saudi Arabia on civil liberties but also saying the Gulf Arab state had made some progress on human rights.

Kate Toogood, a spokesperson for the Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt, said the ministry is working with post-secondary institutions to assess the impact of Saudi Arabia's decision on Alberta schools.

The tactics used against Canada aren't new for Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland voiced concern over the detention of human rights activist Samar Badawi and called on Saudi Arabia to free them.

APK-Inform said a recent decision by Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency to avoid buying Canadian wheat and barley in its global tenders, due to a political dispute, could also enable Ukraine to sell more to Saudi.

Canada's public call for the kingdom to "immediately release" jailed human rights activists angered Saudi Arabia and the kingdom took punitive action, including canceling all flights to and from Toronto, beginning August 13.

Saudi Arabia, angered by Canada's demand last week that jailed activists in the kingdom be freed immediately, expelled the Canadian ambassador, blocked imports of Canadian grain and ended state-backed educational and medical programs in Canada.

"We're paying close attention to this situation, of course, because we wanted to understand the impacts", he said in Ottawa after being asked if the government meant to hit back at Saudi Arabia with economic reprisals of its own. As of next week, the Saudi-owned airline will cease direct flights to and from Toronto and there is at least one report that the government has also ordered state-owned pension funds and banks to sell off Canadian assets.

Later in the day, Çavuşoğlu spoke to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over the phone, diplomatic sources said, without sharing any further details.

"It is diplomacy by tweet that is responsible", he said.

But this year, the uncertainty of getting back to Canada is causing anxiety. "We will continue to use the full range of methods of communication as appropriate".

Morneau said the Canadian economy is strong.

Canada needs to learn from its mistake and work on its face-to-face diplomatic skills, said O'Toole, who nonetheless characterized the Saudi response as being "over the top".

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