Saudi dispute not expected to have much impact on TRU after all

Saudi dispute not expected to have much impact on TRU after all

The feud between Canada and Saudi Arabia has escalated quickly since it began on Friday, after Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised concerns about the Kingdom's human rights record following the arrests of several prominent human rights activists.

Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said, "Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women's rights and freedom of expression around the world".

Saudi government officials also froze new trade deals with Canada and said Canadians were interfering in their domestic affairs.

It estimates that at least 15 Saudi activists have been arrested since May 15, though some estimate that the actual number of arrests, including unreported ones, may be higher.

The government also froze all new trade with Canada, and ordered approximately 16,000 Saudi students studying overseas in Canada to return home or complete their study in other countries.

Amnesty International noted Ms Badawi has been repeatedly targeted and interrogated by Saudi security forces for her human rights activist.

"For Saudi Arabia to punish Canada, it's fairly easy because we're not an important country for them, either are they for us", he said, adding that it does send a message to others that it will not accept criticism. He won Europe's top human rights prize in 2015.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has reacted more aggressively against countries that it perceives as intervening in its internal affairs.

"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", Freeland tweeted.

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The rupture, which underscores a newly aggressive foreign policy led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, comes after Canada denounced a new crackdown on women and human rights campaigners in the kingdom.

"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.

The kingdom also expelled the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Dozens of students will be impacted in Calgary by Saudi Arabia's decision to withdraw its citizens studying under scholarships at Canadian universities.

The Saudi Ministry of Media ordered the Twitter account of the Infographic KSA, @Infographic_KSA, that posted the photo shut down, apparently unamused by its invocation of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in NY.

McTeague said the risk of Saudi Arabia causing gas prices to rise is minimal - even locally in New Brunswick - given the "very robust market" globally for crude and Irving Oil's allocation to the USA northeast.

Human rights groups and Canadian and other Western diplomats have made repeated calls for the release of Raif Badawi, whose wife received Canadian citizenship in July.

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

"So neither Saudi nor Canada are going to be affected much by stopping the wheat and barley trade".

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