Dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia escalates amid asset sell off

There were 327 Saudi students at Mc Gill University last year.					Marie France Coallier  Montreal Gazette

" It subsequently froze all new trade agreements with Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh 24 hours to leave".

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency, the Saudi Grains Organization, has also told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin grains in its worldwide purchase tenders, according to European traders.

Jubeir added that the kingdom was still "considering additional measures" against Canada.

There are more than 8,000 from Saudi Arabia enrolled in programmes in Canada, according to figures released by the official Saudi Press Agency in 2017.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia put a man to death on a cross in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday, while waging a public relations battle to call out alleged human rights violations in Canada.

The Canadian currency dropped as much as 0.5 per cent to 76.21 U.S. cents after the Financial Times reported that the Saudi Arabia central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets starting Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is now coordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals to other facilities outside of the country, according to a report from the Saudi Press Agency. Saudia Airlines has also announced it will suspend flights to and from Canada starting August 13.

When asked about the jailed activists, Jubeir reiterated the government's earlier stance that they had been in contact with foreign entities, but did not specify the charges against them.

The Persian Gulf country is, however, a major supplier of oil to Canada, with about nine per cent of Canada's oil imports coming from Saudi Arabia.

"I will say Canada is very comfortable with our position", she told reporters. We are going to continue to enunciate what we believe are the appropriate ways of dealing with citizens, " Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry called the statement "a major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reportedly expected to be pressed on the diplomatic crisis at a press conference in Montreal.

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