Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Explainer: Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with Canada

Explainer: Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with Canada

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday there is no room for mediation in the kingdom's deepening diplomatic dispute with Canada, and that Ottawa knew what it needed to do to "fix its big mistake".

Saudi Arabia suspended diplomatic ties and halted new trade dealings late Sunday following comments by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland criticizing the kingdom for arrests of women's rights activists.

Other sanctions include Saudi patients in Canada having their treatments stopped and being relocated to a medical facility outside the country.

Since then, the Saudi kingdom has pursued a scorched-earth policy towards anything related to Canada.

The Canadian dollar fell on Wednesday after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabian officials instructed the kingdom's asset managers to dump their holdings of the country's assets.

Saudi media took a decidedly dark turn on Monday when it appeared to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack by tweeting a harshly worded infographic with an image of an airliner flying towards Toronto's skyline.

"Saudi Arabia simply can not afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran", commentator Jamal Khashoggi wrote in the Washington Post. " It subsequently froze all new trade agreements with Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh 24 hours to leave".

Jeddah - Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, have directed the Foreign Ministry to follow up on the affairs of Saudi citizens in Canada.

The currency dropped as much as 0.5 per cent to $1.3120 per US dollar after the Financial Times reported that the Saudi Arabia central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets starting Tuesday.

Saudi scholarship recipients to Canadian universities were ordered to other countries.

Travel to the country will also be affected in light of an announcement from Saudia Airlines on Tuesday that it will suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), issued a notice to exporters that it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley.

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