Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Saudi dispute not expected to have much impact on TRU after all

Saudi dispute not expected to have much impact on TRU after all

Canadian officials say they'll also seek help from the United Arab Emirates, who will nearly certainly take the side of Saudi Arabia. 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.

Local media also reported that the country has been instructed not to transfer its patients to Canada for medical treatment.

Canada has said it's alarmed by the move out of Saudi Arabia, but has not walked back the comments that apparently prompted the row in the first place.

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

According to the Mail and Globe, which cited Statistics Canada, Canada sold more than $33.7 million (CAD$44-million) worth of barley to Saudi Arabia in 2017.

Amid growing diplomatic tensions between Saudi Arabia and Canada, the middle eastern country has rescinded scholarships for all of its students (over 16,000) studying in Canadian universities. The country has already demanded its approximately 15,000 students studying in Canada return home within a month.

European traders said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia's main wheat-buying agency has told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin wheat and barley.

Inside Saudi Arabia, the measures were supported by a media campaign criticizing Canada's human rights record and praising the Saudi rulers' firmness in "protecting the kingdom's sovereignty". Some 327 students from Saudi Arabia were enrolled at the university during the previous academic year.

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The trouble started Sunday when that country abruptly announced a series of measures created to punish Canada for speaking out about the jailing of human rights activists.

"We're going to stand with the values that we know are important to Canadians and Saudi Arabia will take the decisions that they will take", he said, reiterating for business owners that Canada is doing well economically and must continue to remain competitive.

Samar was recently arrested for her vocal protests and activism against the repressive "male guardianship system" within Saudi Arabia for which she won the U.S. International Women of Courage Award in 2012.

McTeague said the risk of Saudi Arabia causing gas prices to rise is minimal - even locally in New Brunswick - given the "very robust market" globally for crude and Irving Oil's allocation to the USA northeast.

Samar Badawi is a famed women's right activist and is the sister of Raif Badawi, a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years for insulting Islam by a Saudi Arabian court in 2014.

Badawi has been targeted by Saudi officials for years due to her activism.

'We consider the Canadian ambassador to the kingdom persona non grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours'.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Beirut says the surprise expulsion of the Canadian ambassador highlights the increasingly aggressive - and at times erratic - foreign policy being pursued by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

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