US urges Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve feud

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Saudi Arabia, one the world's top executioners, beheaded 48 people in the first four months of 2018, according to Human Rights Watch - but crucifixions are rare. "A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected", he told a news conference in Riyadh.

It's also stopped medical treatment programs in which Saudi patients are sent to hospitals in Canada.

When asked about the jailed activists, Jubeir reiterated the government's earlier stance that they had been in contact with foreign entities, but did not specify the charges against them.

It remains unclear how many Saudi patients will be affected by the decision. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, whose tweet sparked the hostility, said that "Canada will continue to advocate for human rights and for the courageous women and men who push for these fundamental rights around the world" after Saudi's response.

Saudi media took a decidedly dark turn on Monday when it appeared to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack by tweeting a harshly worded infographic with an image of an airliner flying towards Toronto's skyline. The selling began on Tuesday, it said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed no signs of ceding to Saudi Arabia Wednesday, saying the federal government has, and will continue to "speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights".

This comes after Canada's foreign minister called on the Saudis to release detained human rights activists. But Canada sold 66,000 tonnes of barley to Saudi Arabia in 2016, and twice that a year ago.

"We consistently and firmly advocate compliance with universal human rights with due regard for the specific national customs and traditions that developed in a given country over a long period of time".

Analysts and regional officials say that Riyadh's actions have little to do with Canada; instead, the kingdom's actions are a broader signal to western governments that any criticism of its domestic policies is unacceptable.

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