Angry Saudi Arabia Pulling 7000 Students from Canada

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

Freeland said Monday in Vancouver that there was "nothing new or novel" about Canada's long-standing position on human rights around the world, and that Ottawa is awaiting more details from the kingdom before responding further.

Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada's ambassador, recalled its own envoy and cut off trade ties with Ottawa after the USA neighbor denounced a crackdown on rights activists in the kingdom. Analysts say the dispute shows Saudi Arabia will reject any outside criticism and continue to flex its muscles overseas, especially as the kingdom enjoys a closer relationship with President Donald Trump.

The dispute looks set to damage what is a modest bilateral trade relationship worth almost $4 billion a year. "Canada and all other nations need to know that they can't claim to be more concerned than the kingdom over its own citizens".

Saudi Arabia operates at least two routes to the country, both of which depart from Toronto. Jasser bin Sulaiman Al Harbash, a deputy minister of education, said in an interview on Saudi Arabia's state-run television that the ministry "will be able to accommodate this number of students in excellent countries such as the USA, U.K., Australia and New Zealand", according to the CNN report.

"The United States supports respect for internationally recognized freedoms and individual liberties including dissent and due process", said the spokeswoman, who asked not to be named.

"The Saudis, if they choose to supply less to Canada, will divert those barrels, possibly to China, and US barrels that would have gone to China, but are uncompetitive under Chinese tariffs, come to Canada", Dwarkin said.

The move came after Canada urged the Saudis to "immediately release" two detained women's rights activists, including the sister of jailed writer Raif Badawi, who was imprisoned in 2012 for insulting Islam on his blog.

According to State, the USA has asked Saudi Arabia for more information about the detentions, and to publicize details about the status of legal cases.

Questioned in Brussels about the tensions, European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said that "we have been seeking clarification from Saudi authorities" over a number of arrests since May.

Kocijancic said the commission wants to understand the allegations against the activists and to ensure they receive a fair trial.

On the diplomatic dispute, Kocijancic said that "we don't comment on bilateral relations".

"The only people buying oil from Saudi Arabia would be Irving". She said "we are in favor of a dialogue".

Doug Wilson-Hodge, manager of corporate affairs for General Dynamics, said Tuesday that the company won't comment because the matter is between Ottawa and Saudi Arabia.

The federal office says Canada imported $2.6 billion worth of goods from Saudi Arabia, with $2.5 billion of that in mineral production.

Anwar Gargash, United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted in Arabic that the UAE stands with Saudi Arabia in defending its sovereignty and its laws.

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