Saudi Arabia appears to threaten Canada in Tweet

Saudi Arabia appears to threaten Canada in Tweet

On Monday, Saudi's foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Canada for consultations and declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata, giving him 24 hours to leave.

Analysts say the dispute between Riyadh and Ottawa shows Saudi Arabia won't accept any outside criticism and will continue flexing its muscles overseas, especially as the kingdom enjoys a closer relationship with President Donald Trump. "We are always going to speak up for human rights; we're always going to speak up for women's rights; and that is not going to change", she told reporters in Vancouver on Monday.

The diplomatic row erupted after Canada tweeted about a recent arrest in Saudi Arabia.

The latest retaliatory move came after Canada's ministry of foreign affairs raised concerns about the arrest of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi (pictured main), sister of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi.

Canada last week said it was "gravely concerned" over a new wave of arrests, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, pictured left.

Following Saudi Arabia's expulsion of the Canadian ambassador after Canada called for the release of jailed civil rights activists, the kingdom has now suspended scholarships for about 16,000 students studying here.


"The Kingdom views the Canadian position as an affront to the Kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty", according to a statement by the Saudi foreign ministry. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen.

Speaking in Mississauga, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said it's important the government bring Canadian values into its dealings around the world.

The report also said all Saudi Arabian students now studying in Canada will be transferred to other countries.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said it is hard to determine what the economic impact on Canada would be without specifics on which trade deals will be affected.

There could be a sentiment among allies that, "Finally the Trudeau government is getting poked back in the eye by the Saudis". The country has already demanded its approximately 15,000 students studying in Canada return home within a month.

Garry Keller, who was chief of staff to ex-Conservative Foreign Minister John Baird, said the government needed to look at how it could help businesses that might be affected.

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