Canadian prime minister justin trudeau stands firm in diplomatic crisis with saudi arabia. Trudeau refused to withdraw criticism of the human rights situation in saudi arabia as demanded by the government there during an appearance in montreal on wednesday.
"We respect your importance in the world and recognize that you have made progress on a number of important issues," said trudeau. "But at the same time, we will clearly and firmly address human rights issues at home and around the world wherever we see the need to do so."
Trudeau added that canadians expect their government to stand up for human rights around the world. Saudi arabia's auben minister adel al-dschubair had earlier said canada "has made a mistake and needs to correct it".
Trudeau said canadian auben minister chrystia freeland spoke with al-dzhubair by phone on tuesday. The talk, however, apparently did not bring a turnaround in the dispute: the saudi arabian aubenminister again demanded on twitter on wednesday that canada "correct" its approach to the kingdom.
The trigger for the tensions between the two countries was a critical tweet by canadian minister freeland last thursday about the arrest of human rights activists in saudi arabia. Riyadh responded with a series of counter-measures. Among other things, the kingdom expelled the canadian ambassador and withdrew its ambassador from ottawa.
Canadian government representative tells german press agency they do not want the dispute to escalate. Ottawa wants to stand firm in its position that the human rights situation in saudi arabia must improve. "Canadians have always expected our government to address respect for human rights at home and around the world in a clear, articulate, and courteous manner," Trudeau said.