Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Riyadh orders Saudi patients to leave Canadian hospitals

Riyadh orders Saudi patients to leave Canadian hospitals

The US, which claims to be an advocate of human rights in the world, has yet to support Canada in its tension with Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh on Sunday froze new trade with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador.

The diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Canada continues with no signs of reconciliation.

He added that he "respects the rights of other countries to speak for themselves".

Saudi Arabia is considering additional measures against Canada amid reports it plans to unload its holdings of Canadian stocks and bonds as a dispute over women's rights activists intensifies.

Her brother Raif Badawi, a prominent blogger, is serving a 10-year sentence and has been publicly flogged for expressing dissenting opinions online.

Momani called it, "getting tough on Canada", which she said other countries in the region might welcome if they view Canadian foreign policy to be led by human rights concerns.

He says that is what Canadians expect of his government.

He said Canada needed to "fix its big mistake". Canadian investments in Saudi Arabia were still ongoing and would not be affected by the dispute, he said.

The central bank did not immediately respond to a Reuters query for comment.

On one hand, it would be a bad scenario to cancel the arms deals, but on the other, many human rights groups have criticized Canada's decision to sell armoured vehicles to a regime with a "horrible human rights record", Juneau said.

Trudeau was speaking in Montreal this afternoon at a news conference regarding funding for aerospace company CAE.

But the row threatens to slow Riyadh's foreign investment drive, a campaign already unsettled by a series of assertive foreign policy initiatives by the top oil exporter.

"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. The two countries have a 40-year-old agreement under which Canada trains medical specialists for Saudi Arabia.

Saudis have also suspended all flights to and from the North American state, halted their trade with the country, and ordered its students studying in Canada and patients receiving treatment there to go elsewhere by the next month.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said because the statement Sunday from Saudi Arabia specified that new trade deals will freeze, it is hard to determine what the economic impact will be. Freeland said the embassy in Saudi Arabia is still in place and providing services to Canadians.

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