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Canada to ask allies to help cool Saudi dispute; U.S. offers no aid

The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada’s envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for urging the release of jailed rights activists.

Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.

One well placed source said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – which stresses the importance of human rights – planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates.

“The key is to work with allies and friends in the region to cool things down, which can happen quickly,” said the source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Another source said Canada would also seek help from Britain. The British government on Tuesday urged the two nations to show restraint.

The United States, traditionally one of Canada’s most important friends, stayed on the sidelines.

U.S. President Donald Trump – who criticized Trudeau after a Group of Seven summit in June – has forged tighter ties with Riyadh.

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“Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can’t do it for them; they need to resolve it together,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.


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