Canada, US Foreign Ministers Discuss Canada-Saudi Arabia Row, Sanctions on Iran

© AP Photo / Jose Luis MaganaCanadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland speaks after receiving the Foreign Policy's Diplomat of the Year 2018 award on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Washington
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland speaks after receiving the Foreign Policy's Diplomat of the Year 2018 award on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Washington - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US State Secretary Mike Pompeo spoke on a phone with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland and discussed the diplomatic row between Riyadh and Ottawa as well as the US sanctions on Iran, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada have been tense since last week, when the Canadian Foreign Ministry called on Saudi Arabia to immediately release the human rights activists detained in the country, which Riyadh considered as meddling in its affairs.

A Muslim pilgrim prays in front of the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. - Sputnik International
Hajj Disrupted for Canadian Muslims as Saudi Airlines Cancel Flights Amid Spat
On Monday, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Canada for consultations, gave the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh only 24 hours to leave the country, froze trade transactions with Canada and announced the relocation of Saudi citizens studying in Canadian universities to other countries.

“Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.  They discussed the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Canada over Canada’s call for releasing civil rights activists.  The Secretary also discussed Iran and Ukraine,” Nauert said in a statement.

READ MORE: Saudi Retaliation Follows Long History of Canada ‘Making Them Look Bad’

On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Freeland remains engaged in talks with the government of Saudi Arabia despite the row. However, Trudeau stressed that Ottawa will continue to “speak strongly” on human rights’ violations.

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