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

Saudi Arabia is pulling thousands of students from Canada in an escalating human rights feud

Why is Saudi Arabia angry at Canada? | Canada

The dispute ostensibly arose because of a tweet issued by Canada's Global Affairs ministry decrying the arrest and detention of two female bloggers and activists.

The Saudi Ministry of Media ordered the Twitter account of the Infographic KSA, @Infographic_KSA, that posted the photo shut down, apparently unamused by its invocation of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in NY.

The rift between the federal government and Saudi Arabia has prompted the country's state airline to suspend operations in Canada.

Saudi Arabia has said the arrests targeted people who sought to "destabilize the Kingdom" and were done by following the country's legal guidelines.

A pro-government Saudi Twitter account provoked outrage when it posted - then deleted - a 9/11-style digitally altered image showing an Air Canada plane flying towards Canada's tallest skyscraper the CN Tower. It also suspended new trade dealings with Canada.

Saudi Arabia, enraged by what it said was meddling in its internal affairs, asked the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh to leave the country within 24 hours and recalled its envoy to Ottawa.

Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, N.B., owned by Irving Oil, relies on Saudi Arabia for almost 40 per cent of its crude supply, according 2018 statistics from the National Energy Board.

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Canada said it was "seriously concerned" by the escalation but vowed to continue to "stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world".

Samar was arrested along with fellow campaigner Nassima al-Sadah last week, the latest victims of what Human Rights Watch called an "unprecedented government crackdown on the women's rights movement". "They are the best interlocutor for Canada in the region", he said.

Amnesty International has said Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, was recently detained along with Nassima al-Sada, another prominent female activist.

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

Alex Kliment, a CBSN contributor who writes for Signal, a newsletter from GZERO Media, told CBSN's Anne-Marie Green the diplomatic dispute may be part of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's push to create what Kliment called an "enlightened dictatorship" in what's considered one of the world's most conservative societies.

Thousands of jobs in Canada could be at risk if the arms agreement is scrapped.

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