Thousands of Saudi students in Canada caught up in political tiff

Aug 09, 2018, 01:42
Thousands of Saudi students in Canada caught up in political tiff

In April, the European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) said that the number of beheadings in Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of 2018 rose by over 70 percent in comparison with the corresponding period past year.

The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for urging the release of jailed rights activists.

Speaking in Montreal, where he announced funding for jobs in Canada's healthcare and aerospace sectors, Trudeau said Freeland had a "long conversation" with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Tuesday, and that diplomatic talks continue.

Analysts and regional officials say that Riyadh's actions have little to do with Canada; instead, the kingdom's actions are a broader signal to western governments that any criticism of its domestic policies is unacceptable.

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The Saudi Central Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "This is part of this story that shows that CAD has had this massive divergence from typical drivers over the past few days, which has potentially been reinforced by some momentum traders".

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.

In addition to the trade freeze, Riyadh has stopped sending patients to Canadian hospitals and "is coordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals".

According to the London-based rights group Amnesty International, many people in Saudi Arabia are sentenced to death and executed following seriously flawed court proceedings that routinely fall far short of international fair trial standards. The government provides health care services through several government agencies for public employees.

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Some media reports have suggested that more than 15,000 scholarships could be pulled from Saudi students across Canada. Saudia Airlines has also announced it will suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference following a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, July 18, 2018.

Canada and Saudi Arabia are both allies and partners of the United States.

Last year, Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia were nearly $1.5 billion, while imports from the Middle Eastern country were about $2.6 billion.

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