Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

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

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

Since Monday social media has been saturated by the surprising news that Saudi Arabia chose to expel the Canadian ambassador, along with freezing trade and investment ties with Canada. On Monday, Freeland doubled down on the position by saying Canadians expect their government's foreign policy to be guided by their values.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Media said in a tweet earlier Monday that it is investigating a Twitter account that posted a photo of an Air Canada plane heading toward the CN Tower, eerily reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks.

"Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women's rights and freedom of expression around the world".

The diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia that erupted over the weekend has left many wondering exactly what is going on.

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Riyadh has also recalled its ambassador from Ottawa and has also expelled the Canadian ambassador in Saudi Arabia.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said it is hard to determine what the economic impact on Canada would be without specifics on which trade deals will be affected. Freeland declined to comment on Horak's exact location and would only say he was doing fine.

Canada has said it is "gravely concerned" about the arrests and has called for those detained to be released immediately.

Later, airline Saudia suspended all flights to and from Toronto and Riyadh said it will relocate the thousands of Saudi students studying in Canada.

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In April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his "serious concern" over the continued jailing of Raif Badawi to Saudi King Salman.

'There isn't a strong bilateral trade relationship and poking the Trudeau government likely resonates with Saudi's hawkish regional allies.

The European Commission said it's seeking clarification about the arrest of activists in Saudi Arabia.

The report also said all Saudi Arabian students now studying in Canada will be transferred to other countries.

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"There is a clear, uniquely Saudi dimension to this in the sense that in the last three years Saudi Arabia has been behaving very aggressively and assertively in the Middle East", he said, noting the blockade of Qatar and the war in Yemen. Officials said on state television that there are more than 12,000 Saudi students and family members in Canada, and that many will be transferred to other countries, including the United States.

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