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Algeria supports Saudi Arabia in its diplomatic row with Canada

13 August 2018

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador, suspended diplomatic relations and slammed the door to new trade with Canada.

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.

The announcement follows Canadian criticism of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia which have sparked backlash.

Germany and Sweden previously were targets of Saudi backlashes for calling out the kingdom over human rights abuses.

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He went on: "We will continue to defend Canadian values and human rights".

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland is joined by High Representative for the European Union's Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini prior to a reception at the Royal Ontario Museum on the first day of meetings for foreign ministers from G7 countries in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 22, 2018.

Ukraine did not sell wheat to Saudi Arabia in 2016, being the main exporter of barley in this country.

One senior official said Freeland phone conversation earlier in the week with her Saudi counterpart took place partly in hopes of getting more information about the reported sale of Canadian assets, as well as any other plans that might be in the works.

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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.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood firm, saying: "Canada will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights ... at home and overseas, wherever we see the need".

He estimated 10 per cent of Canada's energy products come from Saudi Arabia. "But we will continue to underline challenges when they exist there and everywhere in the world". Jubeir added that Saudi Arabia was "considering additional measures" against Canada, without elaborating.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O'Toole said his sources have told him it was patronizing language in the Arabic translation of the Canadian tweet that really got the Saudis upset.

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"Increasingly, both ministers and departments in this government have started using Twitter as a primary means of expressing concern and that has already caused a number of embarrassments for Trudeau".

Algeria supports Saudi Arabia in its diplomatic row with Canada