Over 150 Sask. students could be affected by Saudi dispute

Over 150 Sask. students could be affected by Saudi dispute

Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore are also on the list of potential destination countries, Harbash said.

Officials said they would cover cancellation fees, issue refunds and find alternative flights for stranded travellers, according to a story on the CBC National website.

Then, the Saudi government said it would freeze new trade with Canada.

Saudi Arabia has denounced the tweets as "blatant interference in the country's domestic affairs", as well as a "major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process".

A tweet from the Saudi Ministry of Education spokesman said that the country would end training programs, scholarship and fellowships in Canada.

It also announced it was suspending all scholarships enabling Saudi students to study in Canada. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi royals have always been accused of complicity in the attack.

While Canada's expression of concern about the arrests of human rights activists wasn't unusual from their perspective, the Saudi reaction has been extreme.

On Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir criticised Canada's calls to free arrested civil society activists as a position built on "misleading" information.

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On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's main wheat buyer, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) said in an email sent to Canadian shippers it had halted all purchases of Canadian milling wheat and feed barley.

The State Department on Monday declined to take sides in the escalating dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

The European Commission also struck a neutral tone in its response, saying it is seeking clarification about the arrest of activists, but avoided being drawn into the dispute between Riyadh and Canada. "We can't do it for them", she said. Saudi Arabia has supported rebels in Syria who are losing a war against President Bashar Assad and its military become bogged down by the bloody and costly war it is waging in neighboring Yemen. Canada´s ambassador, Dennis Horak, is not in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia, enraged by what it said was meddling in its internal affairs, asked the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh to leave the country within 24 hours and recalled its envoy to Ottawa.

Amnesty International said Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, was recently detained along with Nassima al-Sada, another prominent female activist. Saudi Arabia has invested about $6 billion U.S.in Canadian businesses since 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The United States said Tuesday that both Canada and Saudi Arabia are "close partners" of the US, and asked the Saudi government for more information of the detention of several activists. "The first Canadian source said Ottawa had no regrets about speaking out on human rights in Saudi Arabia".

Saudi Arabia has apparently threatened a 9/11-style aircraft attack on Canada in an astonishing tweet.

The airline now operates at least two routes flying out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport - one to the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, the other to the city of Jeddah.

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