Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Saudi Arabia's state airline to suspend Canadian operations starting Aug. 13

Saudi Press Agency Saudi Press Agency
Ellis Copeland | 10 August, 2018, 06:03

Nauert added that the United States "would encourage the government of Saudi Arabia overall to address and respect due process". The country's education ministry is reportedly looking to move thousands of Saudi scholarship students out of Canadian schools, while Saudi Arabia's state airline said it would suspend flights to and from Toronto. Countries in the Middle East are not exactly known for men supporting women in living their best lives.

Officials said they would cover cancellation fees, issue refunds and find alternative flights for stranded travellers, according to a story on the CBC National website.

Saudi Arabia has suspended scholarships to Canada and will relocate students already there, state media said Monday, after the kingdom abruptly cut ties with Ottawa over criticism of its jailing of rights activists.

Then, the Saudi government said it would freeze new trade with Canada.

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'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.

Bahrain said it supports the measures by Saudi Arabia in response to statements made by Canada's foreign affairs minister.

The worldwide feud began with the Canadian government's criticism of Saudi Arabia's arrests of women's rights activists.

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Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday that Canada would not be cowed by Saudi actions.

"We've been saying that without a serious human rights evaluation, we should not be transferring any military aid, any arms to Saudi Arabia", Paul said. Canada´s previous Conservative government, which lost power to the Liberals in 2015, also had challenges with Riyadh over human rights. She was given the US International Women of Courage Award in 2012. Saudi Arabia has claimed that the arrests targeted those who sought to "destabilize the Kingdom", and were done by following the country's legal guidelines.

Guido Steinberg, a Middle East expert at the German Institute for worldwide and Security Affairs, believes there are two reasons why Saudi Arabia has reacted so harshly to the statements from the Canadian Foreign Ministry.

Critics of the Saudis claim Riyadh is trying to flex its muscles internationally and has overreacted to a comment Friday by Canada's leading foreign affairs agency, Global Affairs Canada.

We consider the Canadian ambassador to the kingdom persona non grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours, ' the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted early Monday.

Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, N.B., owned by Irving Oil, relies on Saudi Arabia for almost 40 per cent of its crude supply, according 2018 statistics from the National Energy Board. "We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists".

The European Commission said it's seeking clarification about the arrest of activists in Saudi Arabia.

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