USA urges Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve feud

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Russian Federation sided with Saudi Arabia in the ongoing diplomatic rift with Canada on Wednesday, issuing a statement accusing the latter of attempting to "politicize human rights issues".

The clash between the two countries began last Thursday when the Canadian government posted a tweet expressing concern over Riyadh's arrest of two women's rights activists.

"We are always going to speak up for human rights, we are always going to speak up for women's rights and that is not going to change", Freeland said.

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada.

Canadian investments in Saudi Arabia were still ongoing and would not be affected by the dispute, he said.

Saudi's asset sales may not have a big impact on the Canadian currency, although thin trading during the summer holiday could exacerbate that effect.

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The Canadian dollar fell on Wednesday after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabian officials instructed the kingdom's asset managers to dump their holdings of the country's assets.

Saudi Arabia on Monday expelled Canada's ambassador and recalled its own envoy, freezing all new trade and investments, after Ottawa denounced a new crackdown on rights activists in the kingdom.

The Canadian currency dropped as much as 0.5 per cent to 76.21 USA cents after the Financial Times reported that the Saudi Arabia central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets starting Tuesday. "I don't think, understanding Saudi Arabia's foreign policy, that they're going to climb down from this, so we're at an impasse". Saudi Arabia's airline suspended flights to and from Canada, potentially complicating travel plans for Canada's Muslim population as the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca approaches later in August.

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in global tenders, European traders said.

Bin Salman is the second most senior member of the Saudi regime, which has one of the worst human rights records in the world.

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