Saudi Arabia orders all of its foreign university students to leave Canada

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Saudi students studying in Canada now have the opportunity to transfer to 18 different countries to continue their studies "without being affected", Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Educationfor Scholarship, General Supervisor of Cultural Attachés Jasser al-Harbash told Al Arabiya English on Tuesday.

The feud between the two countries has escalated quickly since it began Friday, when Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised concerns about the kingdom's human-rights record.

Since Monday social media has been saturated by the surprising news that Saudi Arabia made a decision to expel the Canadian ambassador, along with freezing trade and investment ties with Canada.

Saudi Arabia froze new trade and investment with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador, in a stern gesture of retaliation after Ottawa urged it to free arrested civil society activists.

Matt Pascuzzo said the Canadian government is in constant contact with Saudi Arabia and still waiting to get all the facts from the Saudis. Both the Saudi and Canadian ambassadors were away on leave at the time.

"This Canadian stance represents an affront to the relations binding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada", said Mr Alzayani. Samar's brother, Raif Badawi, is a blogger who was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticizing the Saudi clerics, for which he was convicted of "insulting Islam".

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Among the arrested is Samar Badawi, an award-winning women's-rights activist who sought to abolish the country's male-guardianship laws.

Prince Mohammed, heir to the region's most powerful throne, has introduced a string of reforms such as lifting a decades-long ban on women drivers in a bid to overhaul the kingdom's austere image. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen. "They are the best interlocutor for Canada in the region", he said.

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

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.

Infographic KSA, which is believed to be owned by a Saudi youth organization and backed by the Saudi government, has a history of posting infographics that support Saudi government positions and foreign policy.

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