In the ongoing mess of foreign relations between Ottawa and Riyadh, the latest comment has come from Canada’s southern giant, the U.S itself. The Kingdom has been under international scrutiny for jailing rights activists including the Badawi Family, since July. Two days ago, KSA began adopting an aggressive foreign policy towards Canada for the intolerable ‘interference’ in internal affairs when Ottawa demanded that the peaceful activists be released immediately.
Saudi Arabia since then has taken the following measures to show their discontentment with Canada:
1) KSA has summoned their Ambassador to Canada back home
2) The Canadian envoy has been given strict expulsion orders from KSA
3) Saudi students are in the midst of relocations from Canada, with scholarships being taken back by the Kingdom as well
4) A Saudi Arabian Twitter account put out a cryptic tweet, which depicted a 9/11 style threat to the CN tower in Canada if they continue to meddle in KSA’s internal affairs
In the wake of this aggression towards Canada, the U.S has made a rather toned down request from Saudi Arabia.
Washington has urged that Riyadh continue to release information regarding the jailed activists. “We have asked the Government of Saudi Arabia for additional information on the detention of several activists,” a State Department official said in a statement, calling both Saudi Arabia and Canada “close allies.” An official also added that Washington continues to “encourage the Government of Saudi Arabia to respect due process and to publicize information on the status of legal cases.”
The U.S is once again playing the self-assigned role of a mediator. This time, the stakes are much higher, considering the nature of the two conflicting states Canada and Saudi Arabia. KSA is a strategic partner of the US and the Trump administration will never meddle with the oil-rich country. Certainly not for Canada, its ‘docile neighbor’ (figuratively at least), up North.
On the other hand, Canada is geographically proximate to the US, hence the two might never go head to head in the interest of regional stability. However, Trump has tarnished this relationship with all sorts of black spots lately. A growing trade conflict between the two countries, as well as Trudeau’s personal animosity toward President Trump, who called Trudeau “very dishonest” and “weak” after last month’s G-7 summit, are just a few examples of the ailing relationship these past months.
So in light of these few points, we are left with several questions:
Is the U.S being, well, the U.S by playing into its self-assigned role of the global harbinger of peace?
Is the U.S trying to rile up Canada by taking this soft approach, when it is equally shocked at the human rights violations in KSA as Canada is?
Is Saudi trying to indirectly poke the US by attacking the softer target in Ottawa?
Why the hell is the U.S still silent on the threatening tweet sent out by KSA earlier?