Saudi state airline Saudia suspends flights to and from Toronto

Saudi state airline Saudia suspends flights to and from Toronto

Saudi state airline Saudia suspends flights to and from Toronto

The Global Affairs Canada tweet that triggered the spat said Canada is "gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi". It has also expelled the Canadian ambassador, Dennis Horak.

The Saudi-Canadian trade consists largely of Saudi exports of petrochemicals, plastics and other products.

The Saudi Central Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Saudi Arabia's media ministry said it was investigating the incident.

Badawi has been targeted by Saudi officials for years due to her activism.

Another activist, Badawi's brother Raif, has been incarcerated since 2012.

Additionally, on Monday it was announced that "training, scholarships and fellowships" for Saudi students in Canada are now being shelved.

The agency cited Saudi Health Attache in the United States of America and Canada Dr Fahd bin Ibrahim al Tamimi.

"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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Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, estimated the overall trade relationship between Canada and Saudi Arabia totals between $3 and $4 billion a year.

About 70 University of Windsor students from Saudi Arabia could be forced to leave Canada after the kingdom issued a decree ordering thousands of its citizens to study in different countries.

Informed sources disclosed to Okaz that the Ministry of Education is coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other related authorities to prepare an urgent plan to transfer all the Saudi students in the various programs to other countries.

Also, as of Monday, all flights between Saudi Arabia and Toronto will be suspended.

With this tweet, the Saudis threatened Canada with similarly harsh rhetoric.

"Saudi Arabia is a strong country and doesn't need Canada, Germany or even America", he told DW.

Wong pointed out that Universities Canada, a consortium of the country's universities and colleges, has expressed its concerns to Ottawa about the future of Saudi students.

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.

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It's not clear how the trade freeze will affect the Saudis' $15-billion deal to purchase light-armoured vehicles from London, Ont. -based General Dynamics Land Systems.

Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.

Another source said Canada would also seek help from Britain.

The accounts, which are followed by a number of Saudi diplomatic figures, are verified and largely share government announcements and pro-Riyadh messages.

It all started with a tweet from Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.

'Canada will always stand up for human rights, in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights, ' Freeland told an audience in Vancouver.

Amnesty International has said Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, was recently detained along with Nassima al-Sada, another prominent female activist. He won Europe's top human rights prize in 2015.

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