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

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Freeland's comments come a day after Saudi Arabia made the decision in retaliation to a Global Affairs Canada tweet that expressed concerns about the arrests of activists in the kingdom.

Riyadh on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia 24 hours to leave.

Soon after, the Saudi ministry of media said it had shut down the account amid an investigation into a complaint over it. Maybe a president who prioritizes fighting terror without apology is just the guy to deal with this.

The ministry also announced "the freezing of all new trade and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action".

The arrests last week brought criticism from the Canadian government.

In response, Canada pledged to continue advocating human rights.

Samar Badawi is a famed women's right activist and is the sister of Raif Badawi, a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years for insulting Islam by a Saudi Arabian court in 2014.

Following this move, a new report from Saudi-owned media outlet Al Arabiya revealed that "training, scholarships and fellowships" for Saudi students in Canada are now being shelved.

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The sudden and unexpected dispute bore the hallmarks of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old future leader, whose recent foreign policy exploits include the war in Yemen, the boycott of Qatar and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's surprise resignation broadcast during a visit to the kingdom.

Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their three children.

Canada has said it is "gravely concerned" about the arrests and has called for those detained to be released immediately.

Riyadh's singling out of Canada is aimed at strongly discouraging other critical Western governments from speaking out, observers say.

'Canada is easier to cut ties with than the rest, ' Bessma Momani, a professor at Canada's University of Waterloo, told AFP.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said it is hard to determine what the economic impact on Canada would be without specifics on which trade deals will be affected.

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

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