Did Saudi Arabia Just Threaten Another 9/11 Attack on Canada? Well, Kinda

Aug 08, 2018, 00:36
Did Saudi Arabia Just Threaten Another 9/11 Attack on Canada? Well, Kinda

"Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi, " the tweet said.

Harbash added that they are capable of transferring all Saudi students from Canada to countries with cultural missions in the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia, all of which are considered countries with top education institutions, and have good relations with Saudi Arabia.

A diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Canada has escalated after Ottawa's foreign ministry rebuked Riyadh for jailing human rights activists in the kingdom and demanded their immediate release.

"In terms of Canada's position going forward, we stand absolutely - with great assuredness - stand by what we have said".

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said it had recalled its envoy in Canada and also said it would freeze "all new business" between the kingdom and Canada.

Mr Al Yami said Saudi Arabia conducted all the necessary legal procedures as dictated by its own law.

Canada's economic relationship with Saudi Arabia is not particularly significant to Riyadh, unlike the United States or other Western partner governments, which experts say makes Ottawa an easier target. The U.S. also said it continued to encourage the Saudi government to "ensure all are afforded due process".

Raif Badawi was arrested in 2012 for running a blog that promoted free speech and women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

Genevieve Paul, the director of Amnesty's francophone branch, points out that pressure is put on the Saudi government when news of such arrests becomes public. Saudi Arabia's media ministry said it was investigating the incident. "And by hitting Canada - which is big enough to matter but small enough not to be a risk to Saudi - he sends a message elsewhere", Kliment said.

In the fist comments by Washington since the dispute erupted, a U.S. State Department official said the United States had asked Riyadh for details on the detention of activists.

Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia totaled about $1.12 billion in 2017, or 0.2 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.

On one hand, it would be a bad scenario to cancel the arms deals, but on the other, many human rights groups have criticized Canada's decision to sell armoured vehicles to a regime with a "horrible human rights record", Juneau said.

In an emailed statement, the department said "we continue to encourage and welcome all worldwide students to come to Nova Scotia and attend our universities for their post-secondary education".

With that connection, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland took to Twitter to express her alarm and call for both Samar and Raif Badawi's release.

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