The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade, after Canada urged it to release jailed rights activists.
The moves came in retaliation to a Canadian government tweet that said it was "gravely concerned" about the arrests of civil society and women's activists in the Saudi kingdom.
In 2014, the Conservative government approved a C$15b arms deal that would allow a Canadian company to sell military vehicles to the Saudi government.
"Throughout its long history, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has never accepted any interference in its domestic affairs by, or orders from any country", the country's foreign ministry wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a freaky and long-winded statement. Saudi authorities accused Ottawa of interfering with its internal affairs.More news: Kourtney Kardashian Reportedly Dumped Younes Bendjima a Month Ago
Yes. In 2015, Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Sweden and stopped issuing work visas for Swedes after the European Union member country's foreign minister described a court decision related to Raif Badawi as "medieval" and the kingdom's ruling Al Saud family as presiding over a "dictatorship". Saudi allies are quickly rushing to their side to issue statements accusing Canada of "meddling" by criticizing Saudi arrests of human rights workers.
Canada and Saudi Arabia began sparring last week when a Canadian official spoke out against the recent arrest of a Saudi human rights activist.
Saudi investments in Canada include G3 Global Holdings Ltd., a joint venture between Bunge Ltd. and Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Co., which purchased the former Canadian Wheat Board in 2015.
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs responded by expressing concern over Saudi Arabia's actions, but resolving to stand their ground.
According to the Toronto Star, Canada's largest export recently has been armoured tanks and personnel carriers.More news: Ellie Goulding announces engagement to Caspar Jopling
"Saudi Arabia was historically defined by its calculated diplomacy", Gulf affairs expert Khalil Harb told AFP.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in a tweet on Monday that he stands with Saudi Arabia in "defending its sovereignty and laws".
Saudi Arabia has apparently threatened a 9/11-style aircraft attack on Canada in an astonishing tweet. "And Saudi Arabia is taking aim at Canada over Trudeau's refusal to endorse sanctions on rival Iran". It also suspended new trade dealings with Canada.
One Middle Eastern grain consultant said the decision was not a great loss to Canada, though. On the diplomatic dispute, commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said "we don't comment on bilateral relations". "The Saudis are brash and somewhat insecure, but they know they are an important country", Steinberg said.
"Saudi Arabia simply can not afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran", commentator Jamal Khashoggi wrote in the Washington Post.More news: Arab rights group petitions Israel’s Supreme Court against Jewish nation law