Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with Canada: An explainer

Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with Canada: An explainer

Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with Canada: An explainer

The kingdom has suspended educational exchange programs with Canada and moved Saudi scholarship recipients to other countries, while Saudi state airline Saudi said it was suspending flights to and from Toronto.

Speaking to reporters in Vancouver on Monday, Freeland said Canada is "very comfortable" with its position that led to the new measures announced by Saudi Arabia.

"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.

Canada and Saudi Arabia's bilateral trade relationship was worth more than $4 billion in 2017, according to numbers posted on the Global Affairs Canada website. Plans apparently are underway to transfer the students and their dependents to other countries, including Britain and the United States.

"It's estimated to be about 100,000 (barrels per day), and that's down over the past two years", McTeague said of Saudi Arabia's oil exports to Canada.

"Canadians expect our foreign policy to be driven by and to embody Canadian values, and that is how we intend to continue our foreign policy".

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency, the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), has told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in its worldwide purchase tenders, European traders said.

Cairo's foreign ministry said on its Facebook page that it was "concerned by the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Canada, which is a result of the negative tendency by some worldwide. sides of meddling in the internal affairs of countries in the region", without elaborating.


She noted it's unclear how numerous students are impacted by the Saudi government's decision to axe their scholarships, but there are options available to help them stay.

Raif Badawi was arrested in 2012 for running a blog that promoted free speech and women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

Though Canada is an official USA ally through North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the US also has deep financial and diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia.

Freeland said it would be a shame if Saudi students are deprived of their right to study in Canada and said they continue to be welcome.

On Sunday, the Saudi foreign ministry said it had given the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada.

Canada last week said it was "gravely concerned" over a new wave of arrests, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, pictured left. Her former husband, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is now serving a 15-year prison sentence for his human rights work and her brother, the famed activist and blogger - Raif Badawi - has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting a website for public discourse. Her brother's wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen.

Canadian Universities are scrambling to react, after Saudi Arabia suddenly cancelled scholarships and re-called students studying in this country. In 2015, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Sweden and stopped issuing work visas for Swedes after the Scandinavian country's foreign minister described the Badawi court decision as "medieval" and the kingdom's ruling Al Saud family as presiding over a "dictatorship".

Anwar Gargash, United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted in Arabic that the UAE stands with Saudi Arabia in defending its sovereignty and its laws.

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