Saudi Arabia Cuts Trade Ties With Canada Following Diplomatic Row

Saudi Arabia Went Nuts And Just Had To Delete This 9/11-Esque Tweet

Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador, To Withdraw Students From Canada Over Women's Rights Criticism

Analysts say the dispute between Riyadh and Ottawa shows Saudi Arabia won't accept any outside criticism and will continue flexing its muscles overseas, especially as the kingdom enjoys a closer relationship with President Donald Trump.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said because the statement Sunday from Saudi Arabia specified that new trade deals will freeze, it is hard to determine what the economic impact will be.

Earlier on Monday, Ottawa refused to back down in its defense of human rights after Riyadh froze new trade and investment and expelled the Canadian ambassador in retaliation for the country's call to free arrested Saudi civil society activists.

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.

The Saudi foreign ministry has also launched special operations room to follow up with Saudi students in Canada following measures to transfer them from the country's universities.

Mohammad bin Abdullah al-Zulfi, a Saudi political analyst and former member of the country's Shura Council, a government advisory body, said he is proud of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his government's response to Canada.

Human rights groups and Canadian and other Western diplomats have made repeated calls for the release of Raif Badawi, whose wife received Canadian citizenship in July.

On Tuesday, Saudi's main state wheat agency told traders it had stopped buying Canadian-origin wheat and barley.

The ministry recalled its ambassador to Canada for consultations and declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata, giving him 24 hours to leave.

With diplomatic tensions between Canada and Saudi Arabia boiling over, Canada's universities are scrambling to figure out what will happen to thousands of students who could be affected. "We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists". The kingdom announced an order to withdraw all Saudi citizens studying in Canadian universities, numbering somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000.

The most high-profile case - and the one specifically referenced by Canadian Global Affairs - is that of Saudi activist Samar Badawi and her blogger brother Raif Badawi. These are just a few diplomatic sanctions Saudi Arabia has imposed on Canada in the wake of a tweet over jailed Saudi activists by Canadian officials.

Among the arrested is Samar Badawi, an award-winning women's-rights activist who sought to abolish the country's male-guardianship laws.

It said it had 327 students from Saudi Arabia during the 2017-2018 academic year. "We can't do it for them; they need to resolve it together", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.

The feud between the two countries has escalated quickly since it began Friday, when Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised concerns about the kingdom's human-rights record.

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