07 August 2018
Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic rupture with Canada underscores the kingdom’s newly combative foreign policy to tame international criticism after a crackdown on domestic critics, as it struggles to implement risky reforms, analysts say.
Saudi Arabia on Monday expelled Canada’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy while freezing all new trade and investments, after Ottawa denounced a new crackdown on women and human rights activists in the kingdom.
Experts said the move illustrates how the oil-rich kingdom is increasingly seeking to use its economic and diplomatic muscle to quell foreign criticism under its young de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“This is clearly an attempt to bully countries to tone down their criticism of Saudi Arabia,” James Dorsey, a fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told AFP.
“The question is: are they going to allow themselves to be bullied? They (critics) are not going to fall on their knees.”
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 08/08/2018