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Saudi Arabia Appears To Be Trying To Tank Canadian Asset Prices

08 August 2018
Saudi Arabia Appears To Be Trying To Tank Canadian Asset Prices

Canada sparked fury in Riyadh last week when it called for the "immediate release" of rights campaigners, including award-winning women's rights activist Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi.

Arab countries, including Bahrain, Palestine and the UAE, have lined up in support of Saudi Arabia after it took trade and diplomatic measures against Canada on Monday in response to the latter's interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom. The kingdom has since escalated its moves against Canada, suspending flights to Toronto and ordering the return of thousands of students who are studying at Canadian schools.

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in global tenders, European traders said.

It remains unclear how many Saudi patients will be affected by the decision.

The Kingdom has recalled its ambassador, while at the same time expelling Canada's top diplomat in the country.

Watch the Canadian dollar trade in real-time here.

"The matter is not about human rights; it is a matter of national security", the minister said.

Investigations against them are continuing and charges against them will be made public once cases reach the courts.

Relations between the countries have dramatically deteriorated following last week's intervention by Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, over the detention of women's rights activists. "Therefore, Canada must correct its actions towards the kingdom".

A source at a Saudi bank told Reuters the bank was contacted by the central bank on Wednesday afternoon asking for information about all their Canadian exposure - investments in Canada and foreign exchange positions.

"It's up for the government of Saudi Arabia and the Canadians to work this out", said Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the state department, on Tuesday.

"I don't think, understanding Saudi Arabia's foreign policy, that they're going to climb down from this, so we're at an impasse".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reportedly expected to be pressed on the diplomatic crisis at a press conference in Montreal.