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Middle East - Saudi Arabia: Dissing Canada: How the Saudis Beat Themselves - by James M. Dorsey

Saudi Arabia may interpret the failure of Western allies to rally around Canada in its dispute with Saudi Arabia as an indication of its growing global power.

It would be well advised to understand that the current silence risks luring the kingdom into a false belief that economic sanctions will shield it from, if not reverse mounting criticism. This applies to its human rights record at home and abroad as well as its conduct of the war in Yemen.

It also risks convincing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that acting with impunity will not impinge on his efforts to attract badly needed foreign investment. At a time when there are ever more legal or ethical requirements, often self-imposed by large institutional investors, the presumed strong-arming of Canada may backfire.

The Saudi-Canadian spat erupted after Canada’s ambassador to the kingdom, Dennis Horak, called on Saudi Arabia to release detained women activists, including Samar Badawi, the sister-in-law of a recently naturalized Canadian citizen, Ensaf Haidar.

Ms. Haidar is married to Ms. Badawi’s brother, Raif Badawi, who was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for promoting freedom of expression and women’s rights.

Read more: Dissing Canada: How the Saudis Beat Themselves - The Globalist

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