Saudi airline stops flights to Canada amid escalating diplomatic row

Cheryl Sanders
August 7, 2018

The U.S. State Department says it is "aware" of Saudi Arabia's decision to expel Canada's ambassador and considers both countries to be "close partners" of the United States.

The ministry also announced "the freezing of all new trade and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action". "It is completely unacceptable for other countries to think their modules and experiences allow them to interfere in our internal matters", said the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on Twitter.

Here's how we got there: While we've been digesting the news that Saudi Arabia has been using USA aid in Yemen and making alliances with Osama Bin Laden's weak-but-intact terror franchisees, the Saudis got into a fight with our neighbors to the north over women's rights - specifically, whether to have any. Freeland declined to comment on Horak's exact location and would only say he was doing fine. Freeland said the embassy in Saudi Arabia is still in place and providing services to Canadians.

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

'It is now time for other governments to join Canada in increasing the pressure on Saudi Arabia to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, ' said Samah Hadid, Amnesty International's Middle East campaigns director.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama present the 2012 International Women of Courage Award to Samar Badawi of Saudi Arabia, on the 101st Anniversary of International Women's Day, Thursday, March 8, 2012, at the State Department in Washington.

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

"We must stand with Saudi Arabia as it defends its leadership and laws".

The true impact of Saudi Arabia's flexing of diplomatic muscle is still unclear.

The official Twitter account of Global Affairs Canada also sent out a tweet, on Friday, Aug. 3: "Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi".

Soon after, the Saudi ministry of media said it had shut down the account amid an investigation into a complaint over it.

Other reports by iNewsToday