Canada to ask UK, UAE to help end Saudi Arabia rift

Canada to ask UK, UAE to help end Saudi Arabia rift

Canada to ask UK, UAE to help end Saudi Arabia rift

Within a day, Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador, froze all new investment, and canceled all flights to Toronto. The Saudi government has said that it will cut scholarships for thousands of its students to study in Canada and national airline Saudia announced that it will suspend flights to Toronto beginning on August 13.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a loose association of the six Gulf Arab countries, the Arab League and Palestine also supported Saudi policy.

The cabinet was referring to a recent rift with Canada over statements of the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Embassy in Saudi Arabia on civil society activists who have been detained, urging Saudi authorities to release them immediately.

The tensions seem to have begun with a tweet from Canada's Foreign Affairs Department, which decried the detention of some female activists in Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia "will deal with any interference decisively", dismissing Canada's position as "built on misleading information", in a statement carried by state media.

However, the row threatens to undermine Riyadh's drive to attract foreign investors, an effort hit by a series of sweeping policy initiatives by the top oil exporter's absolute rulers.

Guido Steinberg, a Middle East expert at the German Institute for worldwide and Security Affairs, believes there are two reasons why Saudi Arabia has reacted so harshly to the statements from the Canadian Foreign Ministry.

Counting several Saudi diplomatic figures among its more than 350,000 followers, the now-deleted account is run by volunteers and managed by Saudi youth with an interest in technology and social media, according to an affiliated website. It follows Ottawa's rebuke of Riyadh for the arrest of a number of human rights activists.

The first Canadian source said Ottawa had no regrets about speaking out on human rights in Saudi Arabia.

"I think they are concerned because they are uncertain".

Samar's brother, blogger Raif Badawi, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for "insulting Islam" in a case that sparked an worldwide outcry.

Only one student will be affected at Mount Royal University.

Next, came as a blow to Saudi exchange students studying in Canada on state-sponsored scholarship programmes, which have been suspended.

Among those arrested was Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Saudi Arabia gave Canada's ambassador in Riyadh, Dennis Horak, 24 hours on Monday to leave the country, declaring him persona non grata.

Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi's wife, who lives in Quebec with her three children, said Monday she was surprised when she heard about the two new arrests. In 2015, Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Sweden and stopped issuing work visas for Swedes after the European Union member country's foreign minister described the Badawi court decision as "medieval" and the kingdom's ruling Al Saud family as presiding over a "dictatorship".

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