Saudi foreign ministry focuses on expats in Canada amid diplomatic row

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UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in a tweet on Monday that he stands with Saudi Arabia in "defending its sovereignty and laws".

In an interview, Dr. Spadafora, who oversees the training of all U of T residents and fellows, including 216 from Saudi Arabia, said his first priority is helping the Saudi trainees whose careers have been thrown into turmoil by the kingdom's announcement.

As a result, he said that Canadian refineries would be challenged to replace 100,000 bpd of oil supply without incurring significant additional costs.

Coleman said it was unclear Tuesday how many students were sponsored by the Saudi Arabia government.

Over the weekend, a diplomatic dispute prompted Saudi Arabia to freeze new trade and investment deals with Canada, expel Ottawa's ambassador and recall its own envoy.

The central bank did not immediately respond to a Reuters query for comment.

A representative with Canada's ministry of global affairs did not immediately have a comment.

Saudi Arabia suspended imports of Canadian grain Tuesday, the latest salvo in a rapidly escalating diplomatic dispute that is threatening a $132-million export market for Alberta.

Badawi was arrested at the end of July along with fellow Saudi women's rights activist Nassima al Sada.

Riyadh has also stopped all medical treatment programmes in Canada and is co-ordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals to other hospitals outside Canada, the Saudi press agency reported early on Wednesday.

Although Saudi Education Minister Ahmed Al-Eissa released a statement saying the state will work to make the withdrawals an "easy transfer" to other universities in countries, such as the United States and Britain, that could prove hard for medical trainees.

About 70 University of Windsor students from Saudi Arabia could be forced to leave Canada after the kingdom issued a decree ordering thousands of its citizens to study in different countries.

"Both sides need to diplomatically solve this together. We can´t do it for them; they need to resolve it together", U. S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.

Last year, Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia were nearly $1.5 billion, while imports from the Middle Eastern country were about $2.6 billion.

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While the General Dynamics jobs are critical for her community, she also questioned why Canada now exports military equipment to non-NATO countries like Saudi Arabia, which she said has a "spotty human rights record".

A full-time Saudi student without Canadian citizenship attending a major school such as the University of British Columbia or University of Toronto would pay between $30,000 to $80,000 in tuition and living expenses, depending on their area of study and whether or not they live on campus.

"After "disciplining" domestic critics through warnings & arrests (Saudi Arabia is) seeking to use economic leverage & diplomatic actions to discipline foreign critics as well", tweeted Kristin Diwan, of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

Pike said firm details and direction is anticipated to come from the Ottawa-based Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau.

According to the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, which represents the country's 17 medical schools, there were 799 graduates of Saudi medical schools training in Canada as of November 1, 2016, or almost 18 per cent of all the foreign medical graduates training here.

According to the Toronto Star, Canada's largest export recently has been armoured tanks and personnel carriers.

Canada on Monday indicated it will not back down, despite the risk of imperilling business deals including a significant $15 billion agreement to sell Riyadh light armoured vehicles.

Riyadh accuses Ottawa of meddling Riyadh accused Ottawa on Tuesday of interfering in its internal affairs.

One well placed source said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - which has stressed the importance of human rights - planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates.

Another source said Canada would also seek help from Britain.

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

"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 in Vancouver.

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.

"This particular case regarding Canada - we have raised that with the government of Saudi Arabia". His wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and received Canadian citizenship in July. In 2015, Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Sweden and stopped issuing work visas for Swedes after the European Union member country's foreign minister described the Badawi court decision as "medieval" and the kingdom's ruling Saud family as presiding over a "dictatorship".

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