Saudi Arabia's row with Canada shows no signs of abating


Analysis Screenshot

Saudi Arabia's move to freeze new trade deals could threaten Canada's $15-billion arms deal that includes providing armoured vehicles to the country, but Freeland called it "premature" to comment on the status of the deal, or the economic consequences of the move.

Riyadh shot back, lashing out at what it described as "a blatant interference in the Kingdom's domestic affairs, against basic global norms and all worldwide protocols".

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.

Infographic KSA, a pro-government Saudi Twitter account, shared the image on Monday, hours after Riyadh announced it had expelled the Canadian ambassador and suspended new trade and investment with Ottawa.

Egypt saw crucial U.S. military aid frozen past year over its own human rights record amid one of its toughest ever crackdowns on dissent, but that decision was reversed last month.

A state-run news organization is reporting the kingdom is cutting off scholarship and fellowship programs to about 15,000 students now taking classes in Canada.

Saudi Arabian crude and equivalents accounted for just nine per cent of Canada's crude imports in 2016, according to figures from Natural Resources Canada. Her brother's wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen.

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Canada tweeted that it was "gravely concerned" about a new wave of arrests of women's-rights activists in the kingdom, which angered Saudi Arabia and prompted the country to retaliate with a series of diplomatic measures aimed at signaling its strength.

It could also have an impact on Canadian oil imports: Canada imports nine per cent of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia, much of which goes to the Atlantic provinces.

Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, N.B., owned by Irving Oil, relies on Saudi Arabia for almost 40 per cent of its crude supply, according 2018 statistics from the National Energy Board. Matt Pascuzzo said the Canadian government is in constant contact with Saudi Arabia and still waiting to get all the facts from the Saudis.

"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together". Saudi allies are quickly rushing to their side to issue statements accusing Canada of "meddling" by criticizing Saudi arrests of human rights workers.

The Saudi government also is canceling its funded scholarships for nearly 12,000 students in Canada. Last year, the kingdom also recalled its ambassador to Germany following a testy exchange with that country's foreign affairs minister over Saudi Arabia's military presence in Yemen. "We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists".

In April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his "serious concern" over the continued jailing of Raif Badawi to Saudi King Salman.

It said it had 327 students from Saudi Arabia during the 2017-2018 academic year.

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