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>> The deepening dispute with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday reached the top of Canadian politics, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refusing to back down.>> We continue to engage diplomatically and politically with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We have respect for their importance in the world and recognize that they have made progress on a number of important issues.
But we will at the same time, continue to speak clearly and firmly on issues of human rights.>> On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia said there is no room for mediation in the feud and that Canada knew what it needed to do to quote, fix its big mistake. Reuters Yara Bayoumy.
>> Saudi Arabia wanted to show very clearly and forcefully that it wasn't going to tolerate any kind of criticism of how it carries out affairs in the kingdom, whether it's on economic, cultural, or social reforms. And specifically about human rights. Presumably, the kingdom feels that these are issues which are maybe better discussed privately but the way in which Canada chose to be very public about, its criticism of the kingdom was clearly a message that the Saudi's were not willing to tolerate.
>> The dispute started with a tweet when the Canadian foreign office called out the arrest of Samar Badawi, a women's rights campaigner who won the International Women of Courage Award in 2012. At a news conference in Riyadh on Wednesday, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir, said that activists arrests where quote, not about human rights, it's a matter of national security.
As a result of Canada's criticism, the kingdom ended state-backed educational and medical programs in Canada, making plans to relocate tens of thousands of Saudi students and patients to other countries. Saudi State Airline said it was suspending flights to and from Toronto, and on Sunday, Saudi Arabia froze new trade with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador.
Badawi's detention is part of a wider crackdown on activists in recent months, but the kingdoms response may have to do with President Trump.>> This is also happening at a time when Saudi Arabia enjoys especially close relations with the Trump administration and conversely, the Trump administration has had some quite strained ties with the Canadian government as well.
>> Sources told Reuters on Tuesday, Canada plans to seek help from the United Arab Emirates and Britain to diffuse an escalating dispute, but that the United States made clear, it's not getting involved.