International Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada could be very anxious in regards to the disappearance of lacking journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and makes no apologies for pushing a human rights agenda with Saudi Arabia.
“There are some very worrying questions in regards to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi,” Freeland mentioned Tuesday throughout a query and reply session on the Fortune International Discussion board in Toronto.
“Canada has raised the difficulty immediately with Saudi Arabia and we’re speaking in regards to the difficulty with our allies.”
Khashoggi is a Saudi citizen and in addition a U.S. resident. He has written critically of the Saudi regime, and after getting into that nation’s consulate in Istanbul two weeks in the past, he hasn’t been seen since.
Freeland mentioned she’s been in touch along with her G7 and NATO counterparts, together with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in addition to the German, British and Turkish international ministers.
“We predict that it is extremely necessary that there be a transparent, clear investigation. We have to know what has occurred, and people accountable have to be held to account,” Freeland mentioned.
There have been widespread stories that Khashoggi was killed contained in the consulate by a Saudi hit squad which will have dismembered his physique.
WATCH: What ought to Canada do about Saudi Arabia?
The allegations have been strongly denied by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi King Salman in conversations with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump supplied his most sturdy defence of the Saudi regime throughout a Tuesday interview with the Related Press wherein he linked the allegations of the Khashoggi case with the latest Brett Kavanaugh affair.
Within the interview, Trump in contrast the case of Khashoggi, who Turkish officers have mentioned was murdered within the Saudis’ Istanbul consulate, to the allegations of sexual assault levelled towards Kavanaugh throughout his Supreme Courtroom affirmation listening to.
WATCH: Testy occasions between Canada and Saudi Arabia
“I believe we now have to search out out what occurred first,” Trump advised AP.
“Right here we go once more with, you realize, you’re responsible till confirmed harmless. I don’t like that. We simply went by way of that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was harmless all the way in which so far as I’m involved.”
Freeland, in the meantime, mentioned Canada isn’t backing down on defending human rights in its personal dispute with Saudi Arabia.
In August, Saudi Arabia reacted strongly to a tweet from Freeland calling for the speedy launch of detained activists, together with Samar Badawi, a champion of ladies’s rights and the sister of detained blogger Raif Badawi.
Saudi Arabia additionally responded by recalling its ambassador in Ottawa, freezing commerce, cancelling flights to and from Toronto and recalling its college students from Canadian medical faculties.
Freeland mentioned she’s been in common contact along with her Saudi counterpart, however she had nothing new to report on Tuesday.
She mentioned the Saudis are “very eager to have a dialogue” and that Canada needs human rights to be a part of the dialog. She mentioned that dialog could be carried out “politely” and with “humility.”
However she additionally dropped a robust trace that she has no regrets in regards to the very public tweet that raised the ire of Saudi rulers.
WATCH: Trump says U.S. is working with Saudi Arabia, Turkey on Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance
“It’s necessary to have personal conversations. However I do suppose it’s a mistake, and it may be frankly a self-serving mistake, to suppose personal dialog is at all times an equally efficient substitute to taking a public stand,” Freeland mentioned.
“And generally it’s necessary to take a public stand.”
Saudi Arabia additionally expelled Canada’s ambassador, Dennis Horak, who has accused the federal authorities of overplaying its hand.