Canada seeks help on Saudi row

Pakistan supports Saudi Arabia in diplomatic row with Canada

The senior official, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the diplomacy, said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had spoken with her counterparts in the two European nations.

According to the Alberta government, 233 global students studying in the province listed Saudi Arabia as their country of citizenship from 2016-2017, and that about 130 of those students are studying at the U of A, with 50 of them completing their medical residency. Left isolated, Canada is now looking to politically correct Germany and Sweden for support.

"We're paying close attention to this situation, of course, because we wanted to understand the impacts", he said in Ottawa after being asked if the government meant to hit back at Saudi Arabia with economic reprisals of its own.

Saudi Arabia, angered by Canada's demand last week that jailed activists in the kingdom be freed immediately, expelled the Canadian ambassador, blocked imports of Canadian grain and ended state-backed educational and medical programs in Canada.

On Tuesday reporters in Brussels grilled Maja Kocinjancic, a spokesperson for the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU's diplomatic service, on the union's position on the escalating crisis. The Toronto Star reports that more than 200 of the University of Toronto's residents and fellows are from Saudi Arabia.

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Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir two days ago ruled out any mediation efforts and said the kingdom was considering taking more measures against Canada for interfering in Saudi Arabia's domestic affairs. "In line with diplomatic practice, we do not comment on bilateral relations".

"We are studying the possible implications of this situation and its possible impact on current or proposed transactions between SNC-Lavalin Group companies and customers controlled by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", the company said.

The 140-character limit, or 280 in some cases, is not enough to allow for the level of nuance that is required in diplomatic relations and tweets may not be subjected to the same rigorous review process, including sign off by the ambassador, that an official statement would be, he said.

"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together".

"We have to think long and hard about the avenues we take ... and making sure they don't impact people, especially out here on the prairies".

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