Saudi Arabia orders all of its foreign university students to leave Canada
08 August, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Gregory Stephens
The clash between Saudi Arabia and Canada is intensifying and has provoked Saudi Airlines to suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13.
The airline now operates at least two routes flying out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport - one to the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, the other to the city of Jeddah.
Riyadh on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave.
The row erupted after Canada came out in support of human and women's rights and called on Saudi Arabia to release human rights activists arrested by Riyadh.
The federal office says Canada imported $2.6 billion worth of goods from Saudi Arabia, with $2.5 billion of that in mineral production. "But I would not deliver Canadian grains to Saudi Arabia now, even on previous contracts", the trader added.
Analysts say the dispute between Riyadh and Ottawa shows Saudi Arabia won't accept any outside criticism and will continue flexing its muscles overseas, especially as the kingdom enjoys a closer relationship with President Donald Trump.
"Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs, " the Saudi government said.
"When it comes to the broader relationship with Saudi Arabia, our diplomats have asked procedural questions today and we're waiting for answers on how Saudi Arabia intends to go forward with the relationship", she said in Vancouver.
"Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi", the tweet read.
Prince Mohammed, heir to the region's most powerful throne, has introduced a string of reforms such as lifting a decades-long ban on women drivers in a bid to overhaul the kingdom's austere image.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland hold a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018.
Raif Badawi's wife has been granted asylum by Canada.
The news dominated the worldwide headlines and social media, especially in Saudi Arabia, where Saudis launched an Arabic hashtag "السعوديه_تطرد_السفير_الكندي" that literally translates to: "Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador".
"These countries are able to host the students, and we at the ministry are committed to facilitating the students' transfers so they can easily complete their education", he said.
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