Saudi Arabia appears to threaten Canada in Tweet

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They are involved in a human rights row over Canada's demands for Canadian activists jailed in the kingdom to be released.

Dan McTeague, a senior analyst at the fuel price tracking website GasBuddy, said any such disruption could easily be offset by alternative supply, as Saudi Arabia's oil continues to represent an increasingly small portion of Canada's crude imports.

The former head of the Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia, Dr Hadi Bin Al Yami, said that the Canadian government's actions violate diplomatic norms governing state relations. "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.

Saudi Arabia has ordered roughly 15,000 Saudis studying in Canada to leave.

The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for urging the release of rights activists. Samar's brother, Raif Badawi, is a blogger who was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticizing the Saudi clerics, for which he was convicted of "insulting Islam".

Saudi Arabian airlines announced the suspension flights to and from Toronto from August 13 in the latest escalation in the diplomatic spat that broke out earlier this week.




Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia "will deal with any interference decisively", dismissing Canada's position as "built on misleading information", in a statement carried by state media.

According to Thompson Rivers University figures, there are 2,839 global students enrolled, nine per cent of which - 256 - are from Saudi Arabia, which makes up the third-most contingent of students at TRU, behind India (22 per cent; 625 students) and China (30 per cent; 852 students).

Among the arrested is Samar Badawi, an award-winning women's-rights activist who sought to abolish the country's male-guardianship laws.

"It's estimated to be about 100,000 (barrels per day), and that's down over the past two years", McTeague said of Saudi Arabia's oil exports to Canada.

But Riyadh's singling out of Canada is aimed at strongly discouraging other critical Western governments from speaking out, observers say. At jeopardy are the. thousands of Saudi students in Canada'.

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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