Riyadh expels Canadian envoy for interference, recalls its own

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador and suspending new trade with Canada

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador and suspending new trade with Canada

The diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia that erupted over the weekend has left many wondering what exactly is going on.

Those held include the Saudi-American human rights campaigner Samar Badawi, sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi.

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 Hariri later rescinded the resignation, widely believed to be orchestrated by Riyadh, and returned to Beirut.

Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak, who was given 24 hours to leave the country. It wasn't immediately clear if he was in the kingdom.

Egypt said on Tuesday it supported Saudi Arabia in a political row with Canada, and stood in "solidarity" with the Gulf Arab kingdom against foreign interference in its domestic affairs.

Canada said it was seeking "clarity".

Universities across the country were scrambling to get information after Saudi Arabia suspended scholarships to Canada and planned to relocate its students already here.

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada. "Saudi Arabia is a strong country and doesn't need Canada, Germany or even America", he told DW.

It's just one of the measures taken by the kingdom in a diplomatic dust-up triggered by Ottawa's criticism of detentions of human rights activists in the Middle Eastern nation.

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He has introduced a raft of headline-grabbing reforms, such as lifting the ban on women being allowed to drive. Women still need a male guardian's permission to travel overseas and to marry.

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs responded by expressing concern over Saudi Arabia's actions, but resolving to stand their ground.

"The Saudis have seriously inconvenienced 15,000 of their citizens in order to make a point and, given the unpredictability of Saudi foreign policy, I think it's anyone's guess what might happen to that deal".

The account then tweeted the threat again, without the plane imagery. Yes, it's disgusting. The tweet produced the outrage you would expect it to and was quickly deleted.

The Media Ministry said it ordered the Twitter account shut down pending an investigation after receiving a complaint about the post. Screenshots last forever, though.

Saudi state airline Saudia said it was suspending flights to and from Toronto, Canada's largest city. "The world has many alternatives in terms of supply, and Saudi Arabia continues to be a smaller proportion of that supply".

Saudi Arabia's market closure comes on the heels of ongoing trade disputes in other key Canadian grain markets including Italy, Peru, Vietnam, and India as well as increased protectionist sentiments within the United States.

The TRU spokesperson said it wasn't clear how numerous Saudi students on campus receive that kind of funding.

"This is clearly an attempt to bully countries to tone down their criticism of Saudi Arabia", James Dorsey, a fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told AFP.

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