Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Canada are escalating after an alleged “interfering” tweet by the Foreign Policy of Canada against the Arab nation.
Saudi Arabia has now recalled its ambassador from Canada and has given the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia 24 hours to leave the country.
The diplomatic stand-off has escalated to the nation’s state airline, Saudia, suspending flights to and from Toronto.
This move on Monday [August 6th] was made after an alleged interference in Saudi domestic affairs after Ottawa’s foreign ministry rebuked Riyadh for jailing human rights activists, which included prominent women’s rights campaigner Samar Badawi.
Saudi’s government furthermore banned new trade with Canada. Though, it remains unclear is this would affect the two nation’s existing annual Saudi-Canadian trade of nearly US$4 billion and a US$13 billion defense contract.
A major portion of the two-way trade was based on Canada’s export of military vehicles armed with weapons.
But, more than 15,000 Saudi students will reportedly be affected by this diplomatic rift, and the state television reported that the Education Ministry was coming up with an “urgent plan” to move thousands of Saudi scholarship students out of Canadian schools to take classes in other countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today [August 7th, 2018] regarding the current political situation between the two nations.
The ministry said: “Oman is following the current political situation between Saudi Arabia and Canada and affirms its position of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. The Sultanate hopes this situation will be resolved between the two countries.”