Saudi Airlines suspends Canadian operations starting August 13

Hariri later rescinded the resignation, widely believed to be orchestrated by Riyadh, and returned to Beirut.

A number of countries in the region have defended Saudi Arabia.

Ottawa said it was "seriously concerned" and was seeking "greater clarity" on Riyadh's move, announced on Twitter by the Saudi foreign ministry. It wasn't immediately clear if he was in the kingdom. Both the Saudi and Canadian ambassadors were away on leave when it was made.

"Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in Canadian domestic affairs", the Foreign Ministry said. "This is something where we know we need to lead with our values".

Riyadh, which suspended diplomatic relations with Canada on Monday, will "stop training, scholarship and fellowship programs" there, state-run Al-Ekhbariya television reported.

Saudi Airlines issued a tweet early Tuesday saying flights to and from Canada would be suspended starting August 13.

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.

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.

"We stand by what we have said".

Sources say the US is the most likely destination for Saudi scholarship students in Canada.

Reid, president of Unifor's Local 27, said the operation supports up to 7,000 spin-off jobs and he hopes the Saudi government will continue to live up to its existing contract. She declined to say where the ambassador was, but said he was safe.

The United States "raised" the case with Riyadh, she said, adding: "The United States has respect for internationally recognized freedoms and also individual liberties". His wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and received Canadian citizenship in July at a Canada Day ceremony with their three children.

Both Freeland and the Canadian Foreign Ministry have voiced concerns over reports that Badawi had been arrested.

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Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote on Twitter on Thursday that she was "very alarmed" to learn that Ms Badawi had been detained.

While both countries are friends of the USA, "both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a media briefing later Tuesday.

He has introduced a raft of headline-grabbing reforms, such as lifting the ban on women being allowed to drive.

Saudi women still need permission from male guardians to travel overseas or marry. The Saudi government also banned new trade with Canada, although it was unclear if it would affect existing annual Saudi-Canadian trade of almost $4 billion and a $13 billion defense contract.

Armored tanks and personnel carriers have been Canada's biggest recent export to the kingdom.

"This year could have been a year where we could have seen some (Canadian) barley trade there in October-November", said Jerry Klassen, manager at trading house GAP SA Grains and Products in Winnipeg.

"Both Canada and the US lost the Middle East market a long time ago. because they are at a freight disadvantage (with higher ocean shipping costs) to the European Union and Black Sea export markets", the consultant said.

The dispute with Canada is part of a larger pushback against external criticism, analysts say.

It's also not the first time Saudi Arabia has lashed out diplomatically over the Badawi case.

Saudi Arabia also expelled Iran's ambassador over attacks on its diplomatic posts following its 2016 execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

"The win (for the Saudis) is that everyone will get the message", Kamel said.

Ayham Kamel, the head of the Eurasia Group's Mideast practice, said Canada should have expected repercussions for championing the Badawis, given Crown Prince Mohammed's assertiveness. "This is not just to Canada's mailbox".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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