Publicado: Mier, Agosto 08, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Saudi Airlines suspends Canadian flights

Saudi Airlines suspends Canadian flights

Canada's recent criticism of the treatment of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia has sparked a diplomatic spat with Riyadh.

The account later apologised and the image was reposted with the plane removed, but screenshots of the original tweet spread quickly.

The European Commission said it's seeking clarification about the arrest of activists in Saudi Arabia.

Freeland late on Monday also tweeted an official statement saying that Canada would "continue to advocate for human rights and for the fearless women and men who push for these fundamental rights around the world".

'The kingdom announces that it is recalling its ambassador to Canada for consultation.

Freeland's tweet led to the kingdom ordering Canada's ambassador Dennis Horak to leave the country within 24-hours and freezing all new trade and investment transactions with Canada on Sunday. Some took it a little too far.

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

The former head of the Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia, Dr Hadi Bin Al Yami, said that the Canadian government's actions violate diplomatic norms governing state relations.

On Friday, the Canadian government sent out a tweet condemning the arrests of women's rights activists, including Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed dissident Raif Badawi.

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Canada doubled down on Monday.

"We are always going to speak up for human rights, we are always going to speak up for women's rights and that is not going to change, " Freeland said.

One well placed source said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - which stresses the importance of human rights - planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates. Some have since been released.

Crown Prince Mohammed, as heir to the throne, is in line to become the first Saudi king from a new generation after a succession of six brothers dating to 1953.

In response, Canada has refused to back down.

His wife, Ensaf Haidar, and three children were granted Canadian citizenship earlier this summer, and live in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

"These countries are able to host the students, and we at the ministry are committed to facilitating the students' transfers so they can easily complete their education", he said. The country has already demanded its approximately 15,000 students studying in Canada return home within a month.

Bilateral trade amounts to CAN $3-4 billion (US $2.3-3.1 billion) a year, according to Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.

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