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Saudi Arabia's state airline to suspend Canadian operations starting Aug. 13

11 August 2018
Saudi Arabia's state airline to suspend Canadian operations starting Aug. 13

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.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian ambassador and recalled its envoy after severing business ties with Ottawa over claims of interference in its internal affairs.

One well placed source said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - which stresses the importance of human rights - planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates.

Has this sort of thing ever happened before?

Another source said Canada would also seek help from Britain. By contrast, the US accounted for 62 per cent of that figure.

"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together".

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi".

Ottawa said it was "seriously concerned" and was seeking "greater clarity" on Riyadh's move, announced on Twitter by the Saudi foreign ministry. "It is now time for other governments to join Canada in increasing the pressure on Saudi Arabia to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, and end the crackdown on freedom of expression in the country".

In the fist comments by Washington since the dispute erupted, a U.S. State Department official said the United States had asked Riyadh for details on the detention of activists.

According to Statistics Canada, the Canadian government's statistics agency, total Canadian wheat sales to Saudi Arabia excluding durum were 66,000 tonnes in 2017 and 68,250 tonnes in 2016.

Dan McTeague, a senior analyst at the fuel price tracking website GasBuddy, said any such disruption could easily be offset by alternative supply, as Saudi Arabia's oil continues to represent an increasingly small portion of Canada's crude imports.

Saudi students in Canadian universities have been given four weeks to pack their bags and leave the country, two senior university officials said Tuesday.

In addition to the other measures enacted, Saudi Arabia said Monday that it would relocate about 7,000 Saudi scholarship recipients studying in Canada.

"Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights".

His university has 77 undergraduate and graduate students from Saudi Arabia, both new and returning, for the 2018-2019 school year.

The deal was agreed in 2014 by the Conservatives, who shared the Saudi desire for deeper relations, he said.

The Liberals granted the permits but showed little interest in deepening ties with Riyadh amid growing civil society and media attacks on the agreement, Juneau added.

Algoma University in the Soo says it has about 40 full-time students from Saudi Arabia, and says it is awaiting clarification on this issue, and promises to support the students in any way possible. "I mean you can appreciate that there's a huge amount of students all across the country that are potentially affected by this." said Chris Mercer of the university's administration.

His case long has been raised by global human rights groups and Western diplomats, including Canadians, who have called on Saudi Arabia to free him. Canada's ambassador, Dennis Horak, is not in Riyadh.