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Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights to Canada, Withdraws Students from Universities

10 August 2018

Ms. Nauert told reporters at the State Department Tuesday that Washington is well aware of human rights concerns regarding Saudi Arabia, but she avoided taking a hard position on the Canada-Saudi spat.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry took exception to the wording of the tweet, calling it an attempt by Canada to interfere with the country's internal affairs.

A Saudi Arabia threat on Monday to carry out a 9/11-style attack on Canada has provoked a huge backlash. He has launched a campaign of social and economic change but has not eased the absolute monarchy's total ban on political activism.

Badawi was arrested at the end of July along with fellow Saudi women's rights activist Nassima al Sada.

The United States also urged Riyadh to "respect due process" and disclose information about their legal status.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday she "looks forward" to hearing from Riyadh about the future of the deal.

Meanwhile, Egypt joined a host of Riyadh's allies on Tuesday in expressing "solidarity" with Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Saudi Arabia ended direct flights to Canada and sent the Canadian ambassador back to his home country.

State-run television has reported that Riyadh will stop training, scholarship and fellowship programs in Canada - a move that will apparently affect the scholarships of more than 15,000 students attending university in Canada.

The majority of the Saudi students are enrolled in graduate studies.

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As Al Jazeera reported , a third of the 258 attacks carried out by Saudi and UAE forces in June targeted non-military sites. He added that this operation was "implemented in accordance with global humanitarian law and customary rules".

One well placed source said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - which has stressed the importance of human rights - planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a loose association of the six Gulf Arab countries, the Arab League and Palestine also supported Saudi policy. The Twitter account has been described as "an official government" account in Saudi-owned state media, although the relationship to the Saudi state is not clear.

He says a harder line has been coming from the Kingdom in recent years since the ascension of the new crown Prince but says the sudden and swift action based on a tweet was surprising.

One Middle Eastern grain consultant said the decision was not a great loss to Canada, though. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi royals have always been accused of complicity in the attack.

Riyadh has a record of responding robustly to Western criticism under Mohammed bin Salman.

Last year, Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia were nearly $1.5 billion, while imports from the Middle Eastern country were about $2.6 billion.

On Monday, the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted: 'The kingdom announces that it is recalling its ambassador to Canada for consultation.

This undated and unlocated image available on the Canadian Embassy in Saudi Arabia website on August 06, 2018 shows the Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak official portrait.

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency has told grains exporters it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley in its global tenders, European traders said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights to Canada, Withdraws Students from Universities