Why is Saudi Arabia angry at Canada? | Canada

Why is Saudi Arabia angry at Canada? | Canada

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency has told grains exporters it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley in its global tenders, European traders said on Tuesday, as a diplomatic dispute between the two countries escalates.

As a result of the Canadian government tweets, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador to the country, Dennis Horak, and recalled its envoy in Canada.

A diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Canada has escalated after Ottawa's foreign ministry rebuked Riyadh for jailing human rights activists in the kingdom and demanded their immediate release.

"We are always going to speak up for human rights; we're always going to speak up for women's rights; and that is not going to change", she told reporters in Vancouver on Monday.

Human rights groups and Canadian and other Western diplomats have made repeated calls for the release of Raif Badawi, whose wife received Canadian citizenship in July.

"Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is trying to pull off a very delicate process in which he liberalizes some aspects of Saudi society, which is extremely conservative, but also retains virtually absolute power over that society", Kliment said.

Her brother Mr Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" online back in 2014.

The image reminded many social media users of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in which planes were deliberately flown into the World Trade Center towers in NY and the Pentagon.

Saudi Arabia stunned officials on Sunday by announcing it was suspending future trade with Canada and severing diplomatic ties.

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Speaking in Mississauga, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said it's important the government bring Canadian values into its dealings around the world.

"So what he's doing is basically sending a message saying, we're not going to tolerate any outside criticism of our human rights record, right?"

According to the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU), there are 109 students from Saudi Arabia enrolled in iniversity in New Brunswick, 42 in PEI and 685 in Nova Scotia.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor and Middle East expert at the University of Ottawa, said Saudi irritation at the way the General Dynamics contract was handled also helped explain Riyadh's response.

"This Canadian stance represents an affront to the relations binding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada", said Mr Alzayani.

Spokesperson Heather Nauert added during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday that the US has raised similar issues with Saudi Arabia.

"It's something that we do", Freeland said.

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs responded by expressing concern over Saudi Arabia's actions, but resolving to stand their ground.

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