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Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador for urging release of activists

Edward Campbell

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PuckChaser said:
Anyone else find it hilarious that the Liberals demonized the Tories for taking a principled stand against dictators and human rights abusers at the UN instead of courting their vote for a UNSC seat, but now want praise for taking a principled stand against a human rights abuser?

That being said, Freeland completely blew off all normal diplomacy and went right into Twitter-rant mode, a-la Donald Trump, instead of using proper diplomatic channels to lodge complaints and voice displeasure? The KSA's over the top reaction is because of the over the top nature of her comments.


In fairness, it was not Minster Freeland's 'tweet' that caused the offence; it was what (I thought) was a pretty 'normal' tweet from Global Affairs that upset the Crown Prince. The problem isn't what Canada said or didn't say: we, Canada, are juts a convenient (low value) target for the Saudis to send a message to their region and to the West.

The Trump led West will get the message ... 
 

PPCLI Guy

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PuckChaser said:
Anyone else find it hilarious that the Liberals demonized the Tories for taking a principled stand against dictators and human rights abusers at the UN instead of courting their vote for a UNSC seat, but now want praise for taking a principled stand against a human rights abuser?

I don't actually recall that happening.  Do you have a link that speaks to this assertion?

That being said, Freeland completely blew off all normal diplomacy and went right into Twitter-rant mode, a-la Donald Trump, instead of using proper diplomatic channels to lodge complaints and voice displeasure? The KSA's over the top reaction is because of the over the top nature of her comments.

Pretty sure that is completely mis-characterising what actually happened.  That was hardly a "twitter rant", and it was certainly not posted by Ms Freeland.
 

PuckChaser

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PPCLI Guy said:
Pretty sure that is completely mis-characterising what actually happened.  That was hardly a "twitter rant", and it was certainly not posted by Ms Freeland.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-07/canada-and-saudi-arabia-spar-on-twitter-and-no-one-will-win

You don't conduct diplomacy over Twitter. It makes good one-liners and screenshots for campaign ads, but doesn't show well when you get your Ambassador booted. Raif and Samar Badawi aren't even Canadian citizens. She was told a year ago by the Saudi Ambassador to stop bringing up Raif Badawi, but maybe figured they were bluffing? Much like Trump's one-shot tweets, Freeland was making a statement for domestic political consumption and to drum up support for the Liberal party base.

PPCLI Guy said:
I don't actually recall that happening.  Do you have a link that speaks to this assertion?

Yep, this nice little soundbite hasn't aged well, particularly the end about using a megaphone to talk to countries instead of working with them... https://globalnews.ca/video/2246680/justin-trudeau-criticizes-harper-government-for-losing-seat-at-un-security-council
 

PPCLI Guy

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PuckChaser said:
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-07/canada-and-saudi-arabia-spar-on-twitter-and-no-one-will-win

You don't conduct diplomacy over Twitter. It makes good one-liners and screenshots for campaign ads, but doesn't show well when you get your Ambassador booted. Raif and Samar Badawi aren't even Canadian citizens. She was told a year ago by the Saudi Ambassador to stop bringing up Raif Badawi, but maybe figured they were bluffing? Much like Trump's one-shot tweets, Freeland was making a statement for domestic political consumption and to drum up support for the Liberal party base.

Ok - I don't concur with your conclusion about "the liberal base" - mostly because there isn't really such a thing in middle of the road Canada...



Yep, this nice little soundbite hasn't aged well, particularly the end about using a megaphone to talk to countries instead of working with them... https://globalnews.ca/video/2246680/justin-trudeau-criticizes-harper-government-for-losing-seat-at-un-security-council

Hmm.  This seems to be about the UNSC seat, vice "taking a principled stand against dictators and human rights abusers at the UN", but thank you for taking the time to find the link.

If you had quoted this:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/worldview/harper-wades-into-chinese-human-rights---but-whos-listening/article545221/

or even this:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-raises-human-rights-concerns-with-chinese-president-xi-jinping-1.2829146

it might have made your point about the Harper Government (tm) "standing up to human rights abusers", but of course that would point out that both of our last two PM's actually voiced Canadian values, rather pointedly, to other countries.

As to Opposition responses to the latest imboglio, I give you this:

https://www.thepostmillennial.com/dzsurdzsa-conservatives-respond-to-saudi-arabia-trade-dispute/

Ie, nothing from the leader of the PCs.  Not for.  Not against.  Just silence.

 

PuckChaser

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PPCLI Guy said:
Ie, nothing from the leader of the PCs.  Not for.  Not against.  Just silence.

This is probably the only opposition party (that was not in a minority government situation) where people fact checked/cared what they said about the governing party. Currently, the opposition responses are analyzed far more than the Government's actual actions.

You also completely missed the point Trudeau had in his sound bite. Under the Harper Tories, Canada picked sides (specifically for UNSC it was in support of Israel) and was a vocal opponent of the way the UN appoints despots and dictators to membership in committees like the UNHRC (Here's their membership https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/hrc/pages/currentmembers.aspx). That's the megaphone Trudeau was talking about. Now, when the Trudeau Liberals take up that exact same megaphone, they're not taken to task.

I didn't know I had to approve of both the content of Freeland's twitter post, and how she went about conducting international diplomacy over twitter.  :rofl:
 

daftandbarmy

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Waiting for the Trudeau government to lay the hammer down on Japan now  ::)


Tokyo medical school admits changing results to exclude women


The investigation found that in this year’s entrance exams the school reduced all applicants’ first-stage test scores by 20% and then added at least 20 points for male applicants, except those who had previously failed the test at least four times. It said similar manipulations had occurred for years because the school wanted fewer female doctors since it anticipated they would shorten or halt their careers after becoming mothers.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/08/tokyo-medical-school-admits-changing-results-to-exclude-women

 

larry Strong

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Interesting article.....

https://edmontonsun.com/news/local-news/corbella-trudeau-and-freeland-should-leave-governing-by-tweet-to-trump/wcm/db72048f-05b3-48e4-b403-071a2db726ae

David Chatterson, Canada’s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said the purpose of any country’s foreign policy is to advance its own interests.

“When I heard about the tweet, my question was, well, what’s our objective here?” asked Chatterson.

“Was it to mitigate the circumstances of Badawi? In which case we failed,” he said to CBC News.

“Was it to inform the broader direction of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia?” he asked rhetorically. “Again, I don’t think we’ve done that. Have we advanced Canada’s interests? Definitely not.”

Cheers
Larry
 

Colin Parkinson

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PPCLI Guy said:
I don't actually recall that happening.  Do you have a link that speaks to this assertion?

Pretty sure that is completely mis-characterising what actually happened.  That was hardly a "twitter rant", and it was certainly not posted by Ms Freeland.

Just a sample

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/canada+must+serious+about+relationship+with+china+transition+document/11407131/story.html
 

daftandbarmy

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If we can't even win a Twitter fight with a 3rd World Country.....  :facepalm:

Canada Learns That No One Wins a Twitter Fight

In an age when foreign policy is conducted increasingly by social media, Saudi Arabia’s reaction to a pair of Canadian tweets is a reminder that diplomacy by Twitter comes with a few risks.

The tweets, from Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and via her ministry’s main Twitter account, expressed concern over the latest arrests of social activists in Riyadh. In response, Saudi Arabia suspended diplomatic ties and new trade dealings with Canada, ordered the expulsion of Canada’s ambassador to Riyadh, and recalled its own envoy from Ottawa. The Saudi foreign ministry’s explanation for these measures is that the Canadian criticism was “an affront to the kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-07/canada-and-saudi-arabia-spar-on-twitter-and-no-one-will-win
 

Rifleman62

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All this does not help Freeland in her failed NAFTA negotiations with the US who apparently have a low opinion of her already as previously posted.

Bet foreign arms salespeople are hovering around now to make a deal with the Saudis. IMHO the workers in London should be worried. If the Saudis cancel the contract, I am sure a long, long court case will ensue, but production will slow/stop.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/saudi-arabia-stops-medical-treatment-programs-in-canada-and-aims-to-move-patients-from-hospitals

Saudi Arabia stops medical treatment programs in Canada, aiming to move patients from hospitals - 8 Aug 18
The kingdom has also suspended educational exchange programs with Canada while state airline Saudi said it was suspending flights to and from Toronto

https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/saudi-arabia-sells-off-canadian-assets-as-dispute-escalates-ft

Saudi Arabia is disposing of Canadian assets ‘no matter the cost’, FT reports - 8 Aug 18
Saudi Central bank and state pension selling Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings

And:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saudi-arabia-canada-economic-impact-1.4777407

Saudi Arabia to sell off Canadian assets and stop buying Canadian wheat and barley - 8 Aug 18

Extract: Canada sold 66,000 tonnes of wheat to Saudi Arabia last year, and slightly more the year before that, Statistics Canada data shows. In the first five months of the year, Canada has yet to book any wheat sales this year. But Canada sold 66,000 tonnes of barley to Saudi Arabia in 2016, and twice that last year.  In 2015, Saudia Arabia-based Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company was part of a consortium that bought a controlling interest in the Canadian Wheat Board for $250 million.


https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/spat-with-saudis-hits-home-for-ontario-plant-making-armoured-vehicles-for-regime?utm_campaign=magnet&utm_source=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles

Saudi Arabia spat with Canada hits home at armoured vehicle plant in Ontario with 2,000 jobs on the line
- 7 Aug 18
Fears grow a $15-billion contract at a London, Ont., plant to make armoured vehicles for Saudi Arabia may be at risk

Extract: The 14-year arms deal, which directly employs 2,000 people, was described at the time by the previous federal Conservative government as the largest advanced manufacturing export contract in Canadian history.


https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/why-it-wont-be-easy-for-quebec-and-atlantic-canadian-refineries-to-replace-saudi-oil

Why it won't be easy for Quebec and Atlantic Canadian refineries to replace Saudi oil
- & Aug 18
'We are in a world where 100,000 bpd is significant' — only a few producing countries, including Saudi Arabia, have spare capacity

Extract: Saudi Arabian oil imports in Canada have been steadily increasing for years. National Energy Board data show the kingdom shipped an average of 102,000 barrels of oil per day to Canada last year, which was also up 17 per cent from an average of close to 87,000 bpd in 2016. It has consistently been among the five largest sources of foreign oil for Eastern Canadian refineries in recent years and an important feedstock for refineries in Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. If the Saudi government’s threat includes oil market transactions with private-sector companies in Canada, the effects would be damaging for the country’s refining sector, ARC Energy Research Institute executive director Peter Tertzakian said. “We are in a world where 100,000 barrels per day is significant,” Tertzakian said, adding that oil markets are currently tight and only a few producing countries – including Saudi Arabia – have spare capacity. As a result, he said that Canadian refineries would be challenged to replace 100,000 bpd of oil supply without incurring significant additional costs.
 

larry Strong

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Rifleman62 said:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saudi-arabia-canada-economic-impact-1.4777407

Saudi Arabia to sell off Canadian assets and stop buying Canadian wheat and barley

Funny that, as Saudi owns the controlling share of the CWB. Wonder if they are going to sell that off as well..,. 

Cheers
Larry
 

brihard

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Somebody needs to export the Saudis a box of Snickers. They get cranky when they’re hungry.
 

Altair

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Brihard said:
Somebody needs to export the Saudis a box of Snickers. They get cranky when they’re hungry.
Only a slight overreaction.
 

Cloud Cover

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Larry Strong said:
Funny that, as Saudi owns the controlling share of the CWB. Wonder if they are going to sell that off as well..,. 

Cheers
Larry

Schroder would have to buy the Saudi portion. He might be happy to snap up a bargain if the Saudi is selling "no matter what the cost".
 

Colin Parkinson

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Not to mention G3 http://g3terminalvancouver.ca/

https://www.albertafarmexpress.ca/2018/04/09/new-42000-tonne-grain-terminal-marks-g3s-first-foray-into-alberta/

https://www.g3.ca/shareholders

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-grains-canada-saudi-idUSKCN0Z325Z
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
Somebody needs to export the Saudis a box of Snickers. They get cranky when they’re hungry.

I would rather send them a Certificate for a Doctor of Education for teaching the Trudeau kids all about international relations/ realpolitik and the consequences of 'Snowflake Diplomacy'.
 

Altair

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At the end of the day though, this is a country with the GDP of Switzerland that we should have been making moves to separate ourselves from years ago and didn't. Let this be the same type of warning (though way, way lesser) that the American President nonsense is giving us regarding our dealings with the US. Diversify our international trade and work towards not being in business with repressive nations shows like the Saudis, who are probably the biggest pit of poison on the planet. There are more than enough reliable and semi reasonable trade partners to work with. Leave the Saudis to their own devices as they decline over the coming decades with passing importance of their one export product. ****'em.
 

Brad Sallows

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Given the size of China, we're always going to be in business with repressive nations.  So once again it all really should depend on interests.

Too many politicians are like children with social media - they want to be seen to be "cool".  They all need to get off and stay off.
 

ModlrMike

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This is why diplomacy should be the purview of diplomats, not politicians.
 

Downhiller229

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Altair said:
At the end of the day though, this is a country with the GDP of Switzerland that we should have been making moves to separate ourselves from years ago and didn't. Let this be the same type of warning (though way, way lesser) that the American President nonsense is giving us regarding our dealings with the US. Diversify our international trade and work towards not being in business with repressive nations shows like the Saudis, who are probably the biggest pit of poison on the planet. There are more than enough reliable and semi reasonable trade partners to work with. Leave the Saudis to their own devices as they decline over the coming decades with passing importance of their one export product. ****'em.

You said eloquently what I was trying to formulate... I see all this pissing match and all I can think of is “don’t care” I hope we follow through.
 
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