Russia: Saudi Arabia has right to reject Canada's interference

Canada Seeks Help From Allies To Cool Saudi Dispute US Offers No Aid

The first seeds of dissension were sown by a tweet from Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday which criticised Saudi's detainment of human right activists including Samar Badawi in Riyadh and called for their immediate release.

Canada says it does not know what will happen to a $13 billion defence contract to sell Canadian-made General Dynamics Corp armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Canada plans to seek help from United Arab Emirates and Britain to defuse the row, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The U.S. State Department has urged Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve their escalating feud.

The Canadian dollar weakened to a two-week low against its USA counterpart on Wednesday as oil prices fell and after the FT report.

Saudi Arabia has also ordered roughly 15,000 Saudis studying in Canada to leave.

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Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry called the statement "a major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process".

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently went on a global tour touting proposed economic reforms and promoting his vision for the kingdom as "the next Europe". "I don't think, understanding Saudi Arabia's foreign policy, that they're going to climb down from this, so we're at an impasse".

The kingdom has taken several measures to punish Ottawa. Meanwhile, the Saudi Health Attaché in the USA and Canada, Dr. Fahd Al-Tamimi, said the Kingdom has stopped all treatment programs in Canada and is transferring all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals to other hospitals outside Canada.

It was unclear how many Saudi patients would be affected by the decision and how many were covered by the kingdom's health care system. On Tuesday, Minister of Education Dr. Ahmed Al-Eissa assured Saudi scholarship students in Canada that the Kingdom has worked to provide all facilities for an easy transfer to universities in other countries. A Saudi airline has also interrupted flights to the North American country.

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.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reportedly expected to be pressed on the diplomatic crisis at a press conference in Montreal.

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