The State Department sought for a second day to avoid inflaming a spiraling diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Canada Tuesday, calling on both sides to sort out their differences over a delicate human rights dispute.
According to Günter Meyer, director of the Center for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz, Crown Prince bin Salman is trying to prove to his people that his government is still effective in its foreign policy.
Those held include the Saudi-American human rights campaigner Samar Badawi, sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi. Niagara actually has campuses in Saudi Arabia, but says it's unaware of any impact on those operations.
On Monday, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir again criticised Canada's calls to free arrested civil society activists as a position built on "misleading" information.
"We stand by what we have said". "This is something where we know we need to lead with our values".
Universities across Canada are scrambling to get information after Saudi Arabia suspended scholarships to Canada and planned to relocate its students already in the country.
The airline has announced an immediate suspension of reservations on its flights to Toronto and the suspension of all flights to and from Toronto from August 13, said a report in Saudi Press Agency, citing an official statement from the airline. The state airline operates at least two routes flying from Toronto. Saudi allies are quickly rushing to their side to issue statements accusing Canada of "meddling" by criticizing Saudi arrests of human rights workers.
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Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders called Saudi Arabia's decision an "outrageous move" on Twitter, saying, "The U.S. must be clear in condemning repression, especially when done by governments that receive our support".
Analysts said the Middle East had been importing less wheat from Canada and the United States in recent years due to higher shipping costs, while China has become a bigger barley buyer.
The European Commission said it's seeking clarification about the arrest of activists in Saudi Arabia.
"We're reaching out ... to identify their circumstances, what their needs are, whether they have families with them", she said. However, she added that Canada will continue to retain a diplomatic presence in Saudi Arabia, noting that the "embassy is still in place".
Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency has told grains exporters it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley in its global tenders, European traders said on Tuesday, as a diplomatic dispute between the two countries escalates.
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The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Ottawa, barred Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and placed a ban on new trade.