It started with a simple tweet.
On Aug. 3, Canada expressed concern over the worsening crackdown on human rights activists in Saudi Arabia, which responded by immediately expelling the Canadian envoy, recalling its ambassador to Ottawa, suspending future trade and investment between the two countries, canceling Saudi Airlines flights to Canada, and forcibly withdrawing its students studying in Canadian institutions.
The situation escalated in less than a week and the driving force behind the unprecedented bluster is believed to be Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS).
However, MBS isn't the first leader who has exploded at Canada with such diplomatic aggression.
Earlier this year, another country lashed out at Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in a similarly reckless manner, going as far as blaming Canada for burning the White House in the war of 1812.
That's right. The Saudi crown prince seems to have taken a page out of U.S. President Donald Trump's playbook.
In June, Trump lashed out at Trudeau for taking advantage of the U.S., at one point even accusing Canadians of smuggling American goods home across the border because of tariffs. Later, Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to Trump called Trudeau "weak and dishonest."
"There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door," Navarro said in a Fox News interview.
While threatening 25 per cent tariff on U.S. vehicle imports from Canada, the U.S. leader also went as far as blaming Canada for burning the White House in the war of 1812.
Trump's reaction was forceful and unduly hostile — MBS seems to be doing the same thing.
It is also important to mention here how Trump has essentially bowed out of the ongoing feud between two of its allies.
Instead of backing Canada for its advocacy for human rights, the U.S. has chose to not be critical of Saudi Arabia, at all.
On Aug.7, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said it is up to Canada and Saudi Arabia to sort out their differences at a press briefing in Washington.
“We can’t do it for them,” she said.
And it's not surprising. Trump previously made it clear human rights is not a priority when it comes to relations with Riyadh.
During a May, 2017, speech to Arab leaders he said, "We are not here to tell other people how to live.”
Trump may not have publicly commented on the spat but it's clear whose side he is on.
Banner / Thumbnail : Getty Images, Reuters