Freeland says waiting on Saudi Arabia’s next moves amid diplomatic spat

Chrystia Freeland says Ottawa will wait to hear more details from Saudi Arabia before it responds

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Ottawa will have to wait to hear more details from Saudi Arabia before it responds to the country’s decision to freeze new trade deals and expel Canada’s ambassador.

Freeland says it’s “premature” to comment on the status of Canada’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia or the economic consequences of the move, adding that she’s waiting for more specifics from the country.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador, freezing new trade with country

She also says there’s nothing new about Canada’s support for human rights.

Freeland’s comments come a day after Saudi Arabia made the decision in retaliation to a Global Affairs Canada’s tweet that expressed concerned about the arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in the country.

Saudi Arabia’s move to freeze new trade deals could threaten Canada’s $15-billion arms deal that includes providing armoured vehicles to the country.

Freeland would only tell reporters today that the Canadian ambassador is “fine” and would not disclose his location.

The Canadian Press

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