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Saudi Arabia is not an electoral football

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

There are countries that represent historic values, geographic locations, cultural weights and symbolic signs. And “perhaps” a massive population or financial or economic power is added to all of that. Among these countries are the US, Russia and India. And Saudi Arabia of course “for some” of these previous considerations, if we take out the factor of massive population.

Of course, there are countries that only have one of these factors. Some countries “incite” passionate emotions in others that reach the extent of irrationality sometimes, which are either about love or hate.

The country which fits this description the most is the US. There are major parties and movements that “worship” hating the US in such an absolute matter because this America must be hated. This grudge against the US is what keeps their hearts beating and their blood circulating. Religious and secular parties do this across the entire world.

On the Arab or rather international level, there is Saudi Arabia which a large category of the ascetic hate in an absolute deaf way. Talking about Saudi Arabia, like talking about the US, became a mobilizing need

Mashari Althaydi

Targeting Saudi Arabia

On the Arab or rather international level, there is Saudi Arabia which a large category of the ascetic hate in an absolute deaf way. Talking about Saudi Arabia, like talking about the US, became a mobilizing need, an accessory, in the depth of the local controversy, competition and electoral rivalry in countries that are far from Saudi Arabia.

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Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations recently, the Saudi Foreign Minister put his hand on this secret and frankly said: “You can talk to us about human rights any time you want. We’ll be happy to have that conversation, like we do with all our allies. But lecturing us? No way, it’s not going to happen. And enough is enough. We don’t want to be a political football in Canada’s domestic politics. That’s what we became. Find another ball to play with. Not Saudi Arabia. And that’s why the reaction in our country was so strong. It is very easy to fix. Apologize. Say you made a mistake.”

Does all this mean ending diplomatic work and no longer defending the country’s policies and sovereignty and no longer gaining friends or neutralizing enemies or decreasing them?

Not at all but it means saving efforts for the right place and knowing the old and deep motives of some bullies against you.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.