The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has said that diplomatic negotiations with Saudi Arabia continue, but it is not going to abandon criticism in relation to the arrest of several activists last week.
According to Trudeau, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday, August 7, continued communication with his counterpart from Saudi Arabia, and Canada continues to engage directly with the government of this ultra-conservative Kingdom, which suspended diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“As the Minister said, and we repeat, Canada will be loud and clear, privately and publicly, to speak out on human rights issues,” reminded Trudeau during the event, held on Wednesday, August 8, in Montreal.
A diplomatic dispute began last week after Freeland wrote on social networking site Twitter about his dissatisfaction with the news that in Saudi Arabia arrested several social activists, including Samar Badawi, fighting for women’s rights. Her brother, the blogger Reif Badawi is in prison since 2012 for criticizing the government, but his wife and children live in Quebec and in the beginning of this year became citizens of Canada.
2 Aug Freeland called for the release of Raif Badawi and Samar, and the next day her office issued further criticism and again demanded the “immediate release” Samar Badawi and all peaceful human rights defenders.
Many media and famous personalities from Saudi Arabia started in response to criticize Canada on all possible occasions, from the “opioid crisis” and ending with the treatment of indigenous peoples.
According to Trudeau, the goal of Canada is to achieve bad relations with Saudi Arabia, and that Canada respects an important place in the world.
He also noted that the decision of the diplomatic dispute will require further negotiations between the two governments.
Earlier on Wednesday, 7 August, the foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel al-Jubeir said that Canada has received the information necessary in order to fix the Twitter message and the whole situation.