Why is Canada trying to hard to defuse the dispute? Why is relation with Saudis to important to Canada?

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    Are they? You've listed pretty much the same list of article in all your recent question, but I've missed this point where it was made. Can you be more specific, like quote a passage making the claim that they "trying hard to defuse" the dispute? My impression from the BBC is that the Canadians are not backing down: bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45102837 – Fizz Aug 10 at 11:19
  • Thanks for edits, it's clearer now... but those are mostly efforts to involve others, so a bit ambivalent. It's not too clear how much the message was "knock some sense into these guys" or "tell them we've changed our mind but can't say so publicly". – Fizz Aug 10 at 11:40
  • If anything the Saudi's limited their huff becuse they have declared they won't be cutting oil deliveries to Canada: theglobeandmail.com/politics/… but als "“We don’t want to have poor relations with Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Trudeau told journalists Wednesday. “It is a country that has great significance in the world, that is making progress in the area of human rights.”" – Fizz Aug 10 at 11:48
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    This foolery, "they are making progress", is absolutely insane. In the rythm of their "progress" it is possible that by the end of the millenium they will have elections for city councils. With only male candidates allowed, of course. Several other countries have been bombed or invaded on "defending democracy" pretexts, that had infinitely better records on civil freedoms, gender equality, representation of people, etc. – Luís Henrique Aug 10 at 21:09
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Canada overplayed its hand

Saudi Arabia is very important global player. First of all, it is a pillar of petrodollar system, therefore providing much of the strength of US dollar as a global reserve currency. To put it briefly, if you want oil you need US dollars, and Saudi Arabia guarantees that. Second, it is undisputed leader of Gulf monarchies and de facto leader of Sunni Muslim world (although Turkey tries to take over this position but this is another story). Saudi Arabia controls Islamic holy sites , and with their money and strong ties with US their word has weight. Finally, it is part of US-Israeli-Saudi axis which acts as a significant force in Middle East. Considering all of this, Saudi Arabia is practically never criticized by Western governments (and rarely by media) for human rights abuses. This stands in stark contrast to countries like Iran (where for example women actually have vastly more rights then in Saudi Arabia, and of course system is much more democratic) .

Canada, on the other hand, on international scene is viewed simply as an appendix to US. There is preciously little Canada could internationally without US support. Although current leftist Canadian government tries to distance itself from current US administration, as we could see from this example, they are basically toothless when left to their own devices.

US silence on this matter has clearly left Canada isolated and vulnerable against full political power of Saudi Arabia. So, they are trying to make amends without loosing much face, clearly accepting their second or third rate status in international affairs. It is now only a question how much humiliation would satisfy Saudi Arabia to restore status quo ante.

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    are pejorative-laden purely speculative answers allowed here? – dandavis Aug 10 at 21:23
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    @dandavis If you want to discuss what kind of answers are allowed, do it on meta. If you believe this answer should be deleted, flag it for a moderator. Don't use comments for backseat moderation. – janh Aug 10 at 21:48
  • What's this "US-Israeli-Saudi axis" about? Just them being against Iran? Google doesn't find much about this "axis". On the other hand Iran suppsedly has an "axis of resistance" of its own... nytimes.com/2018/02/19/world/middleeast/iran-syria-israel.html ... or of "evil", depending who you ask newsweek.com/… – Fizz Aug 11 at 10:08
  • @Fizz Conflict in Middle East is basically conflict between two camps . One is aforementioned, another are various Shia groups plus Baath regimes (only Syria remains now) with the help of Russia and China to minor degree. This other camp includes Palestinians (of course) no matter what their religious belief is . Of course, there are other players that fluctuate between these two basic groups. – rs.29 Aug 11 at 11:28

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