Saudi Airlines suspends Canadian flights

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"We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists".

Infographic KSA, a pro-government Saudi Twitter account, shared the image on Monday, hours after Riyadh announced it had expelled the Canadian ambassador and suspended new trade and investment with Ottawa. It could also have an impact on Canadian oil imports: Canada imports nine per cent of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia, much of which goes to the Atlantic provinces.

In response, Canada's foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland said the government will not back down.

"We are always going to speak up for human rights, we are always going to speak up for women's rights and that is not going to change, " Freeland said from Vancouver on Monday.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir countered shortly after in an Arabic tweet saying the "surprising Canadian position is based on inaccurate information, the arrests are subject to our judicial systems that guarantee their rights".

Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador on Monday and froze "all new business" with Ottawa over its criticism of the ultraconservative kingdom's arrest of women's rights activists - yet another warning to the West reflecting Riyadh's newly assertive foreign policy.

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Both of those links strangely came about after the pair had enjoyed strong performances at the World Cup . Old Trafford is running out of time to find an upgrade over Chris Smalling and/or Phil Jones.

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.

On Friday, the Canadian government sent out a tweet condemning the arrests of women's rights activists, including Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed dissident Raif Badawi.

The clash between Saudi Arabia and Canada is intensifying and has provoked Saudi Airlines to suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13. Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia totaled about $1.12 billion in 2017, or 0.2 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.

Canada last week said it was "gravely concerned" over a new wave of arrests, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, pictured left.

The previous Conservative government also had challenges with Riyadh over human rights. Saudi Arabia's media ministry said it was investigating the incident.

Regardless of how allies and others are perceiving the measure, it has rallied support among Saudis, said Momani, adding that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has a very young nationalistic base, many of whom have taken to Twitter to celebrate the decision and simultaneously criticize Canada.

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