Saudi Airlines suspends all flights to and from Canada amid growing dispute

10 August, 2018, 15:32 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador, To Withdraw Students From Canada Over Women's Rights Criticism

Hariri later rescinded the resignation, widely believed to be orchestrated by Riyadh, and returned to Beirut.

How did Saudi Arabia react?

On Monday, Saudi's foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Canada for consultations and declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata, giving him 24 hours to leave. "They are the best interlocutor for Canada in the region", he said.

Later, airline Saudia suspended all flights to and from Toronto and Riyadh said it will relocate the thousands of Saudi students studying in Canada.

Strangely, in spite of all this, Saudi Arabia and the United States are still strategic allies.

A Saudi foreign ministry statement said it considered Canada's call last week for the release of detained civil society and women's rights activists a violation of Saudi sovereignty.

Freeland also addressed the dispute in Vancouver. "And we stand with our government in this decision".

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's emerging young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada.

In response, Canada pledged to continue advocating human rights. She declined to say where the ambassador was, but said he was safe.

A weekend story by KTW that said TRU could lose one-tenth of its global students due to Saudi Arabia cutting off relationships with Canada and ordering its students to return home was wrong.

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesPolitical activist Samar Badawi was presented with an International Women of Courage Award by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former first lady Michelle Obama in 2012. Raif Badawi's wife lives in Quebec, in Canada.

Freeland tweeted about the arrests on Thursday.

The agency tweeted that it was "gravely concerned" about certain detentions in the Kingdom, specifically that of Samar Badawi, the sister of a blogger jailed by Saudi authorities.

However, supporters of women's rights were arrested just weeks before the ban was lifted, signaling that only King Salman and his powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed, will decide the pace of change. Women still need a male guardian's permission to travel overseas and to marry.

In a tweet, Bessma Momani (expert on Middle East issues and a political science professor at the University of Waterloo) responded to this move, stating that this is very bad and unjust for students who will now be scrambling to figure out what to do with their lives.

Local media also reported that Saudi Arabia had been instructed not to transfer its patients to Canada for medical treatment.

According to the Toronto Star, Canada's largest export recently has been armoured tanks and personnel carriers. While total trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia averages around $4 billion annually, the market had been considered relatively stable by Canadian grain exporters, notably those who specialize in barley.

Freeland said they are awaiting a response for what it means for that deal. Gabriel also made remarks that were seen as critical of the Saudi war in Yemen. The Twitter account had been described as "an official government" account in Saudi-owned state media, although the relationship to the Saudi state was not clear.

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