Saudi’s young Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) has been moving his country at a rapid speed of change. At home, that has elicited joy and caused a surge of nationalism.
Now it looks like it’s time to take on Western governments that dare criticize Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. Countries who speak out will lose billions of dollars of lucrative business deals.
And so, on Monday, Saudi Arabia was willing to cut Canada loose—to achieve its broader objective of signaling to the world that the new Saudi Arabia is serious about rejecting unsolicited criticism of its internal affairs.
After all, bilateral economic ties are minor in the grand scheme of things. What matters to Riyadh is that the message will be heard loud and clear across the globe.