Friday, 17 August, 2018

Saudi Arabian agency stops buying Canadian wheat, barley

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador and suspending new trade with Canada Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador and suspending new trade with Canada Regina 980 CJME Canadian Press
Faye Gross | 10 August, 2018, 06:05

The diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia that has seen the Middle Eastern nation halt all worldwide trade between the two nations is "troubling", a Canadian farm group says, noting the dispute comes amidst rising protectionism in a number of key trading markets.

On Monday evening, the airline, Saudia, made the announcement on its Twitter account that it was suspending flights from the 13 August.

The United States also urged Riyadh to "respect due process" and disclose information about their legal status.

Officials said they would cover cancellation fees, issue refunds and find alternative flights for stranded travellers, according to a story on the CBC National website.

Saudi Arabia's move came followed a tweet Friday from Global Affairs Canada which expressed concerns about the arrests of civil and women's rights activists and asking the Saudi government to immediately release them.

The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Ottawa, barred Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and placed a ban on new trade.

It also said, "Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs".

"Aviation analyst Alex Macheras said the account was connected to the Saudi royal court".

The global feud began with the Canadian government's criticism of Saudi Arabia's arrests of women's rights activists.

It all started with a tweet from Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.

The UAE has already taken Saudi Arabia's side in the dispute.

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West Ham have confirmed the signing of Colombia worldwide midfielder Carlos Sanchez from Fiorentina. Lucas is happy at Arsenal but he wants to play regularly and West Ham is an option for him.


Financial Times reporter Ahmed Al Omran tweeted that students will be transferred to schools in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, citing Saudi state TV.

The European Commission also struck a neutral tone in its response, saying it is seeking clarification about the arrest of activists, but avoided being drawn into the dispute between Riyadh and Canada. "We stand by what we have said", she said Monday.

"Saudi Arabia is shooting itself in the foot".

Tensions between Canada and Saudi Arabia continued into Tuesday, with the Saudis announcing they are cutting all purchases of Canadian wheat and barley.

Among the arrested activists is Samar Badawi, whose writer brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam while blogging.

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.

Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada's ambassador, recalled its own envoy and cut off trade ties with Ottawa after the U.S. neighbor denounced a crackdown on rights activists in the kingdom.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has reacted more aggressively against countries that it perceives as intervening in its internal affairs. In response, Canada pledged to continue advocating human rights.

The ministry recalled its ambassador to Canada for consultations and declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata, giving him 24 hours to leave.

The standoff pits a Saudi government that's slowly opening the door to women's rights against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an outspoken champion of women's advancement, who named a gender-balanced cabinet shortly after his 2015 election.

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