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'We Don't Have a Single Friend': World Leaves Canada in the Cold

Neither the US nor UK backs Canada in Saudi spat
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2018 3:36 PM CDT
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in Montreal, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.   (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)
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(Newser) – Canada's growing rift with the US has included tense trade talks and tit-for-tat remarks. Now the US is among countries leaving Canucks in the diplomatic cold over their spat with Saudi Arabia, the Guardian reports. "It's up for the government of Saudi Arabia and the Canadians to work this out," says State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. "Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can't do it for them." America isn't the only country refusing to support Canada after it called for Saudi Arabia to free arrested women's rights activists, and the Saudi government lashed out in a rage: The UK also gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government a muted response.

"The Brits and the Trumpians run for cover and say 'we're friends with both the Saudis and the Canadians,'" tweeted Bob Rae, former leader of the Liberal Party in Canada. "Thanks for the support for human rights, guys, and we’ll remember this one for sure." As Rachel Curran, a former official under the Stephen Harper government, tweeted: "We do not have a single friend in the whole entire world." Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the European Union is asking Saudi Arabia to explain why activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah were arrested and urged the Saudi government to grant them due process. (A Saudi government-linked youth group threatened a 9/11-style attack on Toronto.)

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