Canada Seeks Allies' Help in Cooling Saudi Tensions

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The remarks came Tuesday in response to Saudi Arabia's expulsion of Canada's ambassador and the recall of its own ambassador from Ottawa, after Canada criticized the recent arrest of Saudi women's rights activists.

In Saskatchewan, another university official also mentioned the four-week deadline that more than 150 Saudi students at the University of Regina are facing.

Saudi Arabia has denounced the tweets as "blatant interference in the country's domestic affairs", as well as a "major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process".

"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".

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

Ms. Nauert told reporters at the State Department Tuesday that Washington is well aware of human rights concerns regarding Saudi Arabia, but she avoided taking a hard position on the Canada-Saudi spat.

Saudi investments in Canada include G3 Global Holdings Ltd., a joint venture between Bunge Ltd. and Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Co., which purchased the former Canadian Wheat Board in 2015.

Saudi Arabia has been informing customers that it has temporarily scrapped penalties and fees on all upcoming direct flights to and from Toronto, adding it is working to find alternative solutions to the problems. Much of that was tanks, armored personnel carriers and motor vehicles.

How did Saudi Arabia react?

Asked Tuesday about the tensions, European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said "we have been seeking clarification from Saudi authorities" over the arrests since May.

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The true impact of Saudi Arabia's flexing of diplomatic muscle is still unclear.

If the deal is scrapped, thousands of jobs could be lost in Canada, experts say.

She noted it's unclear how numerous students are impacted by the Saudi government's decision to axe their scholarships, but there are options available to help them stay.

But Canada has stood firm, with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland insisting it would defend human rights around the world.

"I think they're being sensitive for a very important reason".

Media captionSaudi Arabia's permanent representative to the United Nations confirmed the change in policy What has the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Canada been like in the past?

Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi's wife, who lives in Quebec with her three children, said Monday she was surprised when she heard about the two new arrests.

"Saudi Arabia simply can not afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran", commentator Jamal Khashoggi wrote in the Washington Post.

"It is a significant portion of our barley exports", Dahl said, noting the market had been considered a stable market, noting the industry saw growth potential there given ongoing food sustainability concerns within Saudi Arabia.

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