Former Conservative cupboard minister John Baird appeared on a Saudi Arabian information channel over the weekend, criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid a diplomatic spat between two nations.
Baird, who was international affairs minister in Stephen Harper’s authorities, advised Al Arabiya English that Trudeau ought to go to Saudi Arabia’s royal household personally with a purpose to resolve the dispute.
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“The present authorities has actually been poking the attention of the dominion for the previous three years,” Baird stated through the on-air interview.
“I feel the perfect factor that Canada can do is for our prime minister to go to the dominion, and sit down with the king and have an trustworthy dialogue of the challenges in our relationship.”
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Trudeau has refused to apologize in regards to the tweet that began tensions earlier this month, saying that Canada stands by calls made by International Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland for Saudi Arabia to launch jailed activists.
“We proceed to have interaction diplomatically, however as I’ve stated, Canada will at all times be very clear on standing up for human rights,” Trudeau stated Monday, when requested in regards to the diplomatic dispute.
“We are going to guarantee that message is obvious in private and non-private. However in fact, we glance to enhance relations whereas remaining agency in our values.”
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Baird indicated throughout his interview over the weekend that the Canadian authorities shouldn’t have criticized Saudi Arabia on Twitter, however somewhat had a personal dialogue on the matter.
“When you will have issues, elevate them straight chief to chief or international minister to international minister,” he stated.
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Nonetheless, Baird made an identical name on Twitter to have jailed activists launched when he was international minister in January 2015.
“Canada is deeply involved by flogging of @raif_badawi – it’s a violation of human dignity and freedom of expression,” wrote on the time.
The previous Tory minister famous each nations are a part of the G20, and have a number of shared pursuits.
“We’ve clearly badly insulted our buddy and ally,” he stated.
Al Arabiya wrote about Baird’s interview on its web site Saturday, summarizing Baird’s interview.
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“He felt that variations of views should be mentioned between leaders or international ministers in particular person, and never via sending out tweets,” the article learn, with out mentioning that Baird did the identical years in the past.
The article additionally claimed that British newspaper The Guardian has reported that this spat with Saudi Arabia has made Canada “an remoted nation.”
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Whereas Al Arabiya, which relies out of Dubai, will not be formally the nation’s state information group, it’s owned by members of the Saudi royal household.
Baird has been outspoken in regards to the situation on different information networks as effectively. Final week, he spoke to Enterprise Information Community, saying that the Canadian authorities has not “handled this issue well.”
The previous minister’s look on the Saudi channel raised eyebrows for some, with NDP MP Charlie Angus criticizing him for taking part in an element in “Saudi propaganda.”
“John Baird stands to lose a money cow so he goes on Saudi propaganda TV grovelling for the regime and promoting Canada down the river,” Angus tweeted Monday. “Keep in mind when Baird stated Conservatives stated would interact in “principled” international affairs. Money is the precept.”
WATCH: John Baird criticizes Trudeau’s dealing with of Saudi dispute
Spat continues between nations
Within the days because the battle started, Saudi Arabia has taken a number of strikes to precise its anger over the tweet despatched by Canadian officers.
Saudi Arabia has kicked out the Canadian ambassador, plans to drag out hundreds of scholars and medical sufferers from Canada, and is suspending Saudi airline flights to and from Toronto.
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Whereas Trudeau refuses to apologize, Saudi officers have stated it’s as much as Canada to make issues proper.
“Canada has made a mistake and desires to repair it,” the nation’s International Minister Adel al-Jubeir stated final week. “The ball is in Canada’s courtroom.”
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