Canada seeks UAE mediation to defuse Saudi Arabia row

Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador, To Withdraw Students From Canada Over Women's Rights Criticism

It went on to "urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists".

"Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women's rights, and freedom of expression around the world".

Amnesty International says the global community should form a united front with Canada and speak out to protect two recently arrested women, including the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi.

Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Adel Aljubeir released a short statement on Twitter Monday saying that Canada was basing its assessment on "misleading information" and that Saudi Arabia "will not accept any attempt to interfere in its internal affairs". In little more than a year, the kingdom has led a four-country coalition that severed ties with neighbouring Qatar, recalled its ambassador to Germany and cut back its trade dealings with some German companies amid a diplomatic row.

State news agency SPA said Riyadh had stopped sending patients to Canadian hospitals and "is coordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals. according to directives by the leadership".

Among the arrested activists is Samar Badawi, whose writer brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam while blogging.

A state-run news organization is reporting the kingdom is cutting off scholarship and fellowship programs to about 15,000 students now taking classes in Canada. Saudi Arabia has invested about $6 billion U.S.in Canadian businesses since 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Niagara College was expecting 40 students from Saudi Arabia to arrive for the fall term.

How did Saudi Arabia react?

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Morneau's comments reiterated the position expressed Monday by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, but did not directly address the larger question of what sort of lasting economic impact the dispute could have, including on Canada's $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi", Freeland tweeted.

It recalled its envoy from Ottawa and gave Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak 24 hours to leave the country. "We will always speak up for human rights and women's rights".

The president of Okanagan College said the school estimates that if its 65 new and returning students from Saudi Arabia don't attend the school next year, its revenue will decrease by $850,000.

In response, Canada pledged to continue advocating human rights.

The kingdom will suspend educational exchange programmes with Canada and move Saudi scholarship recipients to other countries, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported on Monday.

In response, the Saudi government has expelled Canada's ambassador from the country and frozen all new trade with Canada. Much of that was tanks, armored personnel carriers and motor vehicles.

Maritime universities are keeping a very close eye on a sudden and serious diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

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