Saudi Arabia Considers More Measures Against Canada, Al-Jubeir Says

Canada Seeks Help From Allies To Cool Saudi Dispute US Offers No Aid

Saudi Arabia-Canada spat hits 16,000 students as the Kingdom suspends scholarships

Saudi Arabia is bringing the diplomatic hammer down on Canada, sending a warning to countries around the world: criticize our human rights record and pay the price.

The fallout is from a call last week from Canadian to Saudi officials demanding the release of imprisoned women's rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah.

The kingdom has also expelled Canada's ambassador Dennis Horak, giving him 24 hours to leave the country over the intensifying diplomatic row.

It also ended state-backed educational and medical programmes in Canada, making plans to relocate tens of thousands of Saudi students and patients to other countries.


Responding to a question about the reason for the arrest of the activists, Jubeir repeated earlier allegations that they had been in touch with foreign entities.

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency, the Saudi Grains Organization, has also told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in its global purchase tenders, according to European traders.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry called the statement "a major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process". We are going to continue to enunciate what we believe are the appropriate ways of dealing with citizens, " Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Tuesday.

The Saudi government on Wednesday ordered some 16,000 Saudi students in Canada to pack their stuff and made arrangements for their relocation, whether they received government funding or not. Saudi state airline Saudi said it was suspending flights to and from Toronto.


Meanwhile, the United States - one of Canada's closest allies - has so far refused to wade into the row.

The divestment came after Canada's foreign ministry condemned the kingdom's arrest of a prominent women's rights activist.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that human rights should be promoted with respect for specific national customs and traditions.

Since then, the Saudi kingdom has pursued a scorched-earth policy towards anything related to Canada.


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