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Overview of Canadian and Saudi Arabian Relationships

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Very recently this year, Canada made a tweet to Saudi Arabia demanding that they immediately release all human rights activists being held in custody. The Saudi Arabian government lashed out against Canada and has broken all ties with the country. This event brought up an existing argument: “Do countries have a moral obligation to criticize others?”

Public criticism is one of the least efficient ways a country can deal with an issue. It is not effective, can create enemies, and lead to many other unforeseen consequences such as a decrease in economy. Openly criticizing a nation has very little effectiveness. When a country receives a negative comment from another nation, they will be very defensive (especially if that recipient is a monarch), wanting to publicly display strength for their people to see. In many cases, rebellions can begin if the people see their king/queen/prince as a weak ruler.

Also, the issues being addressed may be based on cultural or religious views that the people may have. These people view many things in life differently, so imposing a Western view on them will not make sense. A better way to express your concerns would be through private meetings, where the leaders could make judgements without showing signs of weakness. The country will also likely take offence to the comment, creating an unnecessary enemy. Saudi Arabia have made enemies with Germany and Sweden for reasons similar to Canada’s case.

Saudi Arabia no longer does trades with these three nations, which has cost them all considerable losses. Having a foe with a grudge against you is a potentially dangerous situation, especially in the case of a war (maybe even WW3). Many other consequences will follow unless an apology is given, but even then, there is no guarantee. Our nation’s economic status is at stake. Canada could lose up to 1.4 billion dollars in arms trades with the large middle-eastern country. Travel is also restricted between the two nations, which could play a minor role in the economy as well.

Not only will Canada’s economy be worse off, but the problem the we addressed could have increased. By interfering, the Saudi government is forced to display strength, and what better way to do that than to execute the human rights activists that caused the problem in the first place. Making public tweets on how another country runs its internal affairs could lead to disastrous results. A major trading partner turned enemy and a decrease in economic status could be the result, only after they hear your opinion, but choose to ignore it. Holding confidential meetings to discuss would prevent any negative outcomes, while earning more respect from the other country. Following on moral obligations cannot put your own nation in peril.

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Overview of Canadian and Saudi Arabian Relationships. (2019, September 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from
“Overview of Canadian and Saudi Arabian Relationships.” GradesFixer, 13 Sept. 2019,
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Overview of Canadian and Saudi Arabian Relationships [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Sept 13 [cited 2021 Oct 28]. Available from:
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