Saudi airline stops flights to Canada amid escalating diplomatic row

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His university has 77 undergraduate and graduate students from Saudi Arabia, both new and returning, for the 2018-2019 school year.

Pain at the gas pumps will not be an issue if escalating tensions between Ottawa and Saudi Arabia result in the oil-rich Gulf state halting Canada-bound shipments of its most famous export, according to a leading petroleum industry expert.

Transport Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the development. Trade between the two countries was worth $3bn (£2.3bn) in 2016.

Samar was recently arrested for her vocal protests and activism against the repressive "male guardianship system" within Saudi Arabia for which she won the U.S. International Women of Courage Award in 2012.

"Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia".

"What we did was in line with other countries, with what we do for families of Canadians and in line with what we have done in the past", said the source. Raif was arrested in 2015 and has been sentenced to seven years in prison as well as 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam". His wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and received Canadian citizenship in July.


Saudi's foreign ministry called the statement "a major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process".

The Saudi Foreign Ministry made the announcement early Monday, giving Ambassador Dennis Horak 24 hours to leave the kingdom.

Meyer argues that Saudi students who have had their scholarships to study in Canada revoked will just move to the United States or the United Kingdom to pursue higher education, which is a loss for Canadian universities.

Canada will ask the United Kingdom and UAE to help cool tensions between itself and Saudi Arabia, after a diplomatic dispute broke out between the two countries this week.

"Bahrain regrets Canada's position, based on totally erroneous information that has nothing to do with reality on the ground", Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Freeland said Canadians "expect" its foreign policy to be driven by Canadian values.


On Tuesday, the leading Saudi women's rights campaigner Manal al-Sharif thanked Canada for "speaking up" and asked when other Western powers would do the same. But, our correspondent adds, during the recent crackdown on activists he has also shown that he will not tolerate dissent.

Trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia exceeded $4-billion (€ 3.4 billion) past year, a significant portion of it came from a controversial multibillion-dollar deal to sell combat vehicles equipped with machine guns and cannons to the Saudis, according to The Globe and Mail.

Several Arab nations in the region have expressed support for their Saudi allies in the dispute with Canada.

Freeland would only tell reporters Monday that the Canadian ambassador is "fine" and would not disclose his location. Permits for the deal were subsequently approved by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government in 2016.

"Saudi Arabia simply can not afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran", commentator Jamal Khashoggi wrote in the Washington Post.


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