The State Department on Tuesday urged Saudi Arabia and Canada to resolve a dispute that has strained ties between the two countries.
"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this [dispute] together. We can't do it for them. They need to resolve it together, but we would encourage both governments to work out issues together," said spokesperson Heather Nauert.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador and froze new trade ties with Canada, which it accused of interfering in its internal affairs after the latter called for the immediate release of jailed activists in the Kingdom.
"It is a diplomatic issue. Saudi Arabia and Canada can certainly stand to work together," she added.
On Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland voiced concern over the detainment of human rights activist Samar Badawi, sister of jailed Saudi activist and writer Raif Badawi, and called on Saudi Arabia to free them.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said the "so-called civil society activists" had been detained on lawful terms and that Canada's request for their release was "interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs, against basic international norms and all international protocols".
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