SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government wants answers from Saudi Arabia on the country’s “perspective and their participation, potentially,” in the killing of a journalist.
Earlier this week, Trudeau became the first Western leader to publicly confirm that Canadian intelligence officials had heard tapes Turkey released of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, but he isn’t going into any more detail about the contents of the recordings.
Khashoggi’s killing last month at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul further strained relations with Canada and renewed public outrage over Ottawa’s $15-billion arms deal with the regime.
Trudeau says he is looking at the fate of future deals with Saudi Arabia, adding many companies and countries around the world are reconsidering their ties to the kingdom.
Twice today, Trudeau was pushed to defend his government’s human rights record, including earlier in the day during a question-and-answer session with university students.
Trudeau is making the argument that Canada can nudge or influence countries into better human rights practices through closer economic ties.