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techkenyot.com August 15, 2018


UK urges restraint over disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Canada

10 August 2018, 02:04 | Hattie Nash

Saudi Press Agency

Saudi Press Agency

The first source said Canada shared the view of foreign policy experts who believe the Saudi reaction reflected internal strains inside the kingdom, where 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to push through domestic reforms.

Canadian authorities said they are "seriously concerned" about Saudi Arabia's freeze of new trade between the countries.

Coleman said it was unclear Tuesday how many students were sponsored by the Saudi Arabia government.

"There is a clear, uniquely Saudi dimension to this in the sense that in the last three years Saudi Arabia has been behaving very aggressively and assertively in the Middle East", he said, noting the blockade of Qatar and the war in Yemen.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau appeared to downplay the financial impact of the diplomatic dispute. She was given the US International Women of Courage Award in 2012. Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.

"All Saudia flights from/to Toronto, Canada will be suspended starting from 13 Aug 2018", the airline wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

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The airline now operates at least two routes flying out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport - one to the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, the other to the city of Jeddah.

What has the response been so far, at home and overseas?

The Toronto Star reported that in the past year, Canada sent 135,000 tonnes of barley to Saudi Arabia, a significant part of the 1.9 million tonnes of Canada's barley exports each year, and 70,000 tonnes of wheat, a smaller portion of the 16.5 million tonnes of wheat that Canada exported.

On Monday, Freeland doubled down on the position by saying Canadians expect their government's foreign policy to be guided by their values.

But Canada has stood firm, with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland insisting it would defend human rights around the world. They said Canada "plans to seek help from the United Arab Emirates and Britain" in easing tensions with Saudi Arabia.

According to State, the USA has asked Saudi Arabia for more information about the detentions, and to publicize details about the status of legal cases.

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"They have mobilized the vocal support of their regional allies...they will want Canada to fold, and the Canadians have shown no indication they will retract their defense of human rights" she said.

Traders said they had received an official notice from the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) about its decision.

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs responded by expressing concern over Saudi Arabia's actions, but resolving to stand their ground.

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Along with throwing out the Canadian ambassador and suspending air service between the two countries, Saudi Arabia is demanding thousands of its students leave Canada for new locations.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi". The kingdom announced an order to withdraw all Saudi citizens studying in Canadian universities, numbering somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000.

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