Saudi-Canada conflict: Riyadh sells assets, orders patients out

There were 327 Saudi students at Mc Gill University last year.					Marie France Coallier  Montreal Gazette

"We will continue, we will do so in a constructive and polite way but we will also remain firm on standing up for human rights everywhere around the world", he said.

" It subsequently froze all new trade agreements with Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh 24 hours to leave".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed no signs of ceding to Saudi Arabia Wednesday, saying the federal government has, and will continue to "speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights".

What began with a statement of concern over human rights has ballooned into the biggest diplomatic feud in years between Canada and Saudi Arabia. "A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected", Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh. All Saudi patients in the country will be transferred to hospitals outside of Canada.

Saudi Arabia has restricted travel, medical access, and students' scholarships to Canada while using its state-owned media to bash the country as unjust.

Still, Rai said the impact on the currency should be "ephemeral" as bilateral trade between Saudi Arabia and Canada is small.




The dispute between Riyadh and Ottawa started after Canada's Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, called for the release of a prominent Saudi women's rights activist, Samar Badawi.

Since rising to power in 2015, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has courted Western allies to support his reform plans, offering billions of dollars of arms sales and promising to fight radicalism in the kingdom.

Inflows slowed in recent years mainly due to low oil prices, but regional turmoil doesn't help, critics of the government say.

But she said: "At the same time, we hope that Saudi Arabia and Canada will find a civilized solution to their differences".

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), issued a notice to exporters that it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley.

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