Weekend Reads Trump criticized from right and left for not standing with Canada on Saudi Arabia

16:36  10 august  2018
16:36  10 august  2018 Source:   nationalpost.com

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

  Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador"We consider the Canadian ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia persona non grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours," Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said on Twitter.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Saudi Arabia lashed out at Canada on Monday for criticizing the recent arrests of Saudi rights activists, and threatened to In a statement on Monday, the Trump administration said it had asked Saudi Arabia for additional information on the detention of several activists.

Saudi Arabia ’s latest diplomatic spat began with a tweet and very quickly escalated to include the expulsion of an ambassador, the suspension of flights Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in # SaudiArabia , including Samar Badawi.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A former top aide to a Republican president and a left-wing senator have both blasted the White House for its response to the feud between Canada and Saudi Arabia, calling it weak and evidence of President Donald Trump’s affinity for autocrats.

In an article earlier this week, Elliott Abrams, who was deputy national-security advisor to George W. Bush, said the Saudis’ aggressive response to human-rights criticism from Canada was “an unforced error,” and the lack of U.S. back-up for the Canadians indefensible.

Saudi Arabian group apologizes for posting image appearing to threaten Canada with 9/11-style attack

  Saudi Arabian group apologizes for posting image appearing to threaten Canada with 9/11-style attack Saudi Arabian group apologizes for posting image appearing to threaten Canada with 9/11-style attack"As the Arabic saying goes: 'He who interferes with what doesn't concern him finds what doesn't please him,'" reads a caption superimposed over the image. The infographic also accuses Canada of "sticking one's nose where it doesn't belong.

The State Department, in its annual human rights report, has frequently criticized Saudi Arabia on similar grounds to those stated by Canada . The Saudi students, she said, were stunned at having to leave their homes, cars, furniture and studies with less than four weeks’ notice.

US & Canada selected. In January 2015, Mr Trump criticised then-First Lady Michelle Obama for doing the same. Image caption Mr Trump received Saudi Arabia 's highest civilian honour from King Salman (R). Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, he is not expected to highlight human rights during his trip.

From the other side of the political spectrum, Sen. Bernie Sanders told the National Post Trump himself should have defended Canada and echoed its criticism of the Saudis.

The States’ strategic alliance with the Arab power is no reason to go easy on its human-rights transgressions, he said.

“What the United States government should have done is joined Canada in telling Saudi Arabia that it is not acceptable in a country that has received huge amounts of support and military arms from the United States to be imprisoning human-rights activists,” he said in an interview.

“We have a president who time and time again seems to be more comfortable with authoritarian-type governments than with democracies,” Sanders said. “And I think that is a very sad state of affairs.”

Canada waiting for details from Saudi Arabia: Freeland

  Canada waiting for details from Saudi Arabia: Freeland Canada waiting for details from Saudi Arabia: FreelandVANCOUVER - Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Ottawa will have to wait to hear more details from Saudi Arabia before it responds to the country's decision to freeze new trade deals and expel Canada's ambassador.

Royal welcome for Trump in Saudi Arabia as troubles mount at home. The president, who met with King Salman, hopes his five-stop foreign tour will unite the world against terrorism — and distract from bad headlines back home.

President Donald Trump ’s call for Saudi Arabia to abruptly increase oil production should be dismissed as political “noise," one strategist told CNBC Monday.

The diplomatic clash started when first Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, then Global Affairs Canada issued tweets criticizing Saudi Arabia for jailing rights activist Samar Badawi and others. Badawi’s brother Raif was earlier sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for running the website “Free Saudi Liberals.” His wife and children live in Canada and recently became citizens.

In response, the Saudis threw out Canada’s ambassador, ordered a halt to further trade and called back thousands of students and medical patients from Canada.

The Canadians violated “basic international norms” by meddling in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs, its government said.

Trump, who made his first foreign trip as president to Riyadh, has not made any comment on the affair. He has touted the Saudis as an important ally in opposing Iran and fighting extremism, and a lucrative trading partner. He has also praised Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de-factor leader, for the liberal reforms he has spearheaded.

Saudi Airlines to suspend Canadian flights

  Saudi Airlines to suspend Canadian flights TORONTO - The rift between the federal government and Saudi Arabia has prompted the country's state airline to suspend operations in Canada. Saudi Airlines issued a tweet early Tuesday saying flights to and from Canada would be suspended starting August 13. Saudi Arabia operates at least two routes to the country, both of which depart from Toronto. Transport Canada did not immediately respond to request for comment on the decision. Saudi Airlines' Saudi Airlines issued a tweet early Tuesday saying flights to and from Canada would be suspended starting August 13.

(In 2015, Mr. Trump criticized Michelle Obama on Twitter for not wearing a head scarf during an official visit here. To Trump , Human Rights Concerns Are Often a Barrier to Trade. May 20, 2017. Image. Saudi Arabia , Ignoring Trump ’s Slights, Will Give Him a Royal Welcome.

"The hard truth here is that the world is not waiting for Canada to preach to them or to criticize them," Chatterson told CBC News. SEE ALSO: Saudi Arabia crucified a man in Mecca while aggressively calling out Canada over human rights . NOW WATCH: Meet the woman behind Trump 's million

The U.S. State Department said it has asked the Saudis about the situation with Canada, and encouraged it to respect due process and be transparent about the fate of people taken into custody. But it has not publicly criticized the arrest of the activists, nor the aggressive response to Canada.

The European Union has taken a similarly neutral stance.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House on March 14, 2017.

Abrams, who now heads the Council on Foreign Relations, dismissed the Saudis’ contention that other nations have no right to criticize its domestic affairs.

“That’s an untenable position in 2018,” he said, noting that even the Soviet Union reacted relatively mildly when then-president Ronald Reagan called it an “evil empire.”

And the initial State Department response to the affair was “indefensibly weak,” Abrams wrote. It ought to have stated that no country should suffer when it voices support for human rights, especially involving the family of its citizens, he said.

“That would have been a mild brush-back of the Saudi overreaction, and would have been a useful suggestion to the Saudis that they were going too far,” said Abrams.

As for Sanders, it’s little surprise that one of the more left-leaning members of Congress would criticize Trump. But he has also been part of a bi-partisan effort opposing Trump’s position on another controversial policy of the Saudi kingdom.

He and Republican Mike Lee co-sponsored a resolution – eventually defeated after heavy lobbying by the White House – that called on the administration to halt its support of the Saudis’ war in Yemen.

A State Department spokesman said Thursday the agency would not comment on Sanders’ remarks.

• Email: tblackwell@postmedia.com | Twitter: tomblackwellNP

Canada’s dispute with Saudi Arabia has agriculture industry on edge .
Market access is not a new problem for the grain industry and this latest tiff with Saudi Arabia adds to the struggle."The consequences are quite negative extensively, everywhere," says business manager John Van Hierden.

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