Saudi-Canada conflict: Riyadh sells assets, orders patients out

Toronto's CN Tower and the skyline

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), issued a notice to exporters that it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley.

Crimes such as attending anti-government rallies and homosexuality have contributed to crucifixion sentences in Saudi Arabia in the past.

Saudi Arabia is selling Canadian assets in an escalating row after Ottawa criticized the arrest of a female activist, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

It's also cancelling scholarships for more than 15,000 Saudi students attending Canadian universities, which will yank away big economic benefits Canada reaps from worldwide tuition fees. "It is not just an easy transfer to another university - the process to help students get degree completion in other countries will be a complex process and while we will do what we can to help them work through this situation, we recognize the stress and anxiety these students are feeling as they try to determine what this means to each of their personal situations". TV pundits brought up Canada's suicide rate in what appeared as a broadside against the country's way of living.

"The Saudis have seriously inconvenienced 15,000 of their citizens in order to make a point and, given the unpredictability of Saudi foreign policy, I think it's anyone's guess what might happen to that deal". Saudia Airlines has also announced it will suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13.

He says that is what Canadians expect of his government.


Carleton University spokesperson Elizabeth Murphy says, "Carleton University is evaluating the impact of Saudi Arabia's decision to recall Saudi scholarship holders studying in Canada".

But Canada has remained firm.

The dispute between Riyadh and Ottawa started after Canada's Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, called for the release of a prominent Saudi women's rights activist, Samar Badawi.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time", she tweeted on Friday, referring to the jailed women's rights activist, "and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi". Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that human rights should be promoted with respect for specific national customs and traditions.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has expelled the Canadian ambassador, suspended flights to the country and terminated student exchange programs.

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