Saudi Arabia's state airline to halt Toronto flights

10 August, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador and suspending new trade with Canada

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday the Canadian government will continue to raise its voice and defend human rights. Hariri later rescinded the resignation, widely believed to be orchestrated by Riyadh, and returned to Beirut.

On Monday, Saudi's foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Canada for consultations and declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata, giving him 24 hours to leave. It wasn't immediately clear if he was in the kingdom.

Karim Kadim/THE CANADIAN PRESS via AP Passengers disembark a Saudi Arabian plane at Baghdad International Airport on October 19, 2017.

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.

The Saudis are angry because Global Affairs Canada, the government department that manages Canada's diplomatic relations, on its Twitter feed on Friday urged the kingdom to "immediately release" Saudi women's rights activist Samar Badawi and all other "peaceful human rights activists" it had detained.

"Saudi Arabia is shooting itself in the foot". Countries in the Middle East are not exactly known for men supporting women in living their best lives.

The 32-year-old crown prince, set to be the first millennial to occupy the throne in a country where half the population is under 25, has introduced a string of reforms such as lifting a decades-long ban on women drivers. Women still need a male guardian's permission to travel overseas and to marry.

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Roughly 10 per cent of the barley Canada exports is sent to Saudi Arabia.

Ms Badawi is known for challenging Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system. So far, Canada and Amnesty International are the only global entities to speak out against the arrests and they have called on other states such as the United Kingdom, the US and France to follow suit.

"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. Infographic tweeted an apology before its account went dark. Yes, it's disgusting. The tweet produced the outrage you would expect it to and was quickly deleted.

The college said it hasn't received any official word yet that Saudi students won't be attending. Screenshots last forever, though.

"All Saudia flights from/to Toronto, Canada will be suspended starting from 13 Aug 2018", the airline wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. "The world has many alternatives in terms of supply, and Saudi Arabia continues to be a smaller proportion of that supply". Investors are skeptical, given rash actions like these toward Canada. While the United States is Canada's main supplier of crude oil by far, Saudi Arabia comes in second with a lot of its imports to Canada going to New Brunswick, which supplies other eastern provinces.

Castellanos said that would make it even more hard for the students to leave.

Egypt said it stands in "solidarity" with the Saudis against Canadian meddling, while Bahrain accused Canada of attempting to undermine Saudi Arabia's sovereignty.


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