Saudi foreign ministry focuses on expats in Canada amid diplomatic row

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

The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Ottawa, barred Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for urging the release of rights activists.

David Chatterson, a former Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was blunt.

The Saudi central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost", according to the report. The loss will have a "negligible impact on our bottom line", Weeks said Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada's ambassador, recalled its own envoy and cut off trade ties with Ottawa after the USA neighbour denounced a crackdown on rights activists in the kingdom.

A representative with Canada's ministry of global affairs did not immediately have a comment.

"Saudi Arabia has taken a very public stand emphasizing the decisiveness of their leadership in defending their sovereignty" Ms Diwan said.

The European Commission said it's seeking clarification about the arrest of activists in Saudi Arabia.

"Saudi Arabia has had a pretty shady record on human rights for a long time and nobody's really publicly called them on it".

Ms Badawi's brother was arrested in 2012 for criticism of the regime, and was subjected to 50 lashings in 2015.

Sources told Reuters news agency that Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will most likely turn to the UAE for assistance, after Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic and trade ties with Canada.

Saudi Arabia has made several aggresive political moves against Canada over the past few days after the Canadian Foreign Policies Twitter account tweeted concern over the kingdom's human rights abuses.

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"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".

All of which is to say that maybe the United States, 17 years after 9/11 and the missing 28 pages, should really, finally, reconsider its relationship to the repressive, Al Qaeda-dealing Saudi regime. "It's up for the government of Saudi Arabia and the Canadians to work this out", she said on Tuesday.

About 70 University of Windsor students from Saudi Arabia could be forced to leave Canada after the kingdom issued a decree ordering thousands of its citizens to study in different countries.

The Saudi government plans to move them immediately to other schools in countries like the USA and United Kingdom.

With this tweet, the Saudis threatened Canada with similarly harsh rhetoric.

In response, the Saudi government has expelled Canada's ambassador from the country and frozen all new trade with Canada.

The first possible big hit Canada could suffer relates to the sale of light armored vehicles to the kingdom, worth CA$15 billion. Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.

Neighbours and allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates said they stood with Riyadh, although they did not announce similar measures.

Another source said Canada will be turning to its old ally the United Kingdom for help, which has appealed for calm. "Saudi Arabia is a strong country and doesn't need Canada, Germany or even America", he told DW.

But Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir tweeted that Canada's position was based on "misleading information", adding that anyone arrested was "subject to Saudi laws that guarantee their rights".

"Hopefully, this thing blows over", said Reid, who noted his union fully supports Ottawa's decision to call out human rights abuses and abuses against women in Saudi Arabia.

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