Saudi suspends flights to Canada ahead of Hajj

Saudi suspends flights to Canada ahead of Hajj

Saudi suspends flights to Canada ahead of Hajj

As a result of the Canadian government tweets, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador to the country, Dennis Horak, and recalled its envoy in Canada.

Dan McTeague, a senior analyst at the fuel price tracking website GasBuddy, said any such disruption could easily be offset by alternative supply, as Saudi Arabia's oil continues to represent an increasingly small portion of Canada's crude imports. Saudi Arabia has said the arrests targeted people who sought to "destabilize the Kingdom" and were done by following the country's legal guidelines.

Saudi Arabia's diplomatic move underscores a newly aggressive foreign policy led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and comes after Canada denounced the arrest of women's rights activist Samar Badawi.

Samar's brother, blogger Raif Badawi, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for "insulting Islam" in a case that sparked an worldwide outcry.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama present the 2012 International Women of Courage Award to Samar Badawi of Saudi Arabia, on the 101st Anniversary of International Women's Day, Thursday, March 8, 2012, at the State Department in Washington.

Saudi Arabia's national airline Saudia announced the suspension of all direct flights to and from Toronto following Canada's comments about the kingdom's treatment of human rights activists.

Meanwhile, through a statement published by the Palestinian Press Agency, President Mahmoud Abbas also assured the support of Palestinians to Saudi Arabia and its move against Canada's intervention.

The source said Canada had no regrets about speaking out on human rights in Saudi Arabia.

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"It is completely unacceptable for other countries to think their modules and experiences allow them to interfere in our internal matters", said the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on Twitter.

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

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.

There could be a sentiment among allies that, "Finally the Trudeau government is getting poked back in the eye by the Saudis".

"So neither Saudi nor Canada are going to be affected much by stopping the wheat and barley trade".

Thousands of jobs in Canada could be at risk if the arms agreement is scrapped.

When asked about the contract, Freeland said the government "looks forward" to hearing from Riyadh about the future of the deal.

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