Saudi Arabia orders all of its foreign university students to leave Canada

Saudi Arabia orders all of its foreign university students to leave Canada

2, Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, sent out a tweet regarding human rights in the Middle East kingdom. Riyadh has also recalled its ambassador from Ottawa and has also expelled the Canadian ambassador in Saudi Arabia.

The decision to freeze new trade agreements could threaten Canada's $15-billion arms deal that includes providing armoured vehicles to the kingdom, but Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said it was "premature" to comment on its status. Spokeswoman Marie-Pier Baril reiterated her country's position "for the protection of human rights, very much including women's rights, and freedom of expression around the world".

Thompson Rivers University stands to lose nearly one-tenth of worldwide students on its campus - and tens of thousands of dollars in revenue - as a result of a diplomatic row between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has blasted what it calls Canadian interference in its domestic affairs after a tweet on Sunday from the official Global Affairs Canada Twitter account saying there were "grave concerns" over the recent arrests of activists and calling for their "immediate release".

Her brother Mr Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" online back in 2014.

Travel to the country will affected in light of an announcement from Saudia Airlines on Tuesday that it will suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13. Matt Pascuzzo said the Canadian government is in constant contact with Saudi Arabia and still waiting to get all the facts from the Saudis.

"For Saudi Arabia to punish Canada, it's fairly easy because we're not an important country for them, either are they for us", he said.

Raif Badawi's wife has been granted asylum by Canada.




Media reports also suggest Saudi Arabia may cancel thousands of scholarships for students now attending school in Canada.

The arrests last week brought criticism from the Canadian government.

"Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs", the Saudi ministry's said.

Riyadh's singling out of Canada is aimed at strongly discouraging other critical Western governments from speaking out, observers say.

'There isn't a strong bilateral trade relationship and poking the Trudeau government likely resonates with Saudi's hawkish regional allies.

According to the Toronto Star, there are about 16,000 Saudi students studying in Canada.

When asked about the contract, Freeland said the government "looks forward" to hearing from Riyadh about the future of the deal.

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