Saudi Arabia picks a pointless fight with Canada


QUEBEC’S proudly Francophone separatists may want to learn some Arabic. On August 5th, as Canadians enjoyed a long weekend, Saudi Arabia abruptly expelled their ambassador and froze bilateral trade and investment. Its state-run funds have reportedly been ordered to dump their Canadian assets, no matter how much it costs to do so. The kingdom is angry about tweets from Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, criticising the arrests of Saudi human-rights activists. For Saudi Arabia, this was unacceptable “foreign interference”.

If anyone is qualified to opine on meddling abroad, it is the Saudis. Since 2011 they have helped quash an uprising in Bahrain, backed a coup in Egypt and detained Lebanon’s prime minister. If Canada keeps up its criticism, “we are allowed to interfere in Canada’s internal affairs,” the Saudi foreign ministry warned. Canadian diplomats joked about the kingdom arming Québécois rebels.

A legion of Saudis took to Twitter to voice their (no doubt long-held…

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