Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Maritime universities could see exodus of Saudi students

Maritime universities could see exodus of Saudi students Maritime universities could see exodus of Saudi students
Russell Knight | 10 August, 2018, 02:01

In another explicit display of the country's displeasure with Canada, Saudi Arabia's state airline has suspended all flights to and from Toronto.

Saudi Arabia notably was angry with Canada for demanding that Riyadh "immediately release" some of the detained activists.

The displaced Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who was given 24 hours to leave the country, has a lengthy diplomatic career.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson says Saudi Arabia and Canada are "close partners" and Washington would ask the Saudi government for more information about the arrests of women's rights activists.

The Financial Times, citing unidentified sources, reported that the Saudi central bank and state pension funds had instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost".

Saudi government officials also froze new trade deals with Canada and said Canadians were interfering in their domestic affairs. "Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights".

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.

Guido Steinberg, a Middle East expert at the German Institute for global and Security Affairs, believes there are two reasons why Saudi Arabia has reacted so harshly to the statements from the Canadian Foreign Ministry. Much of that was tanks, armored personnel carriers and motor vehicles.

"Saudi Arabia is shooting itself in the foot".

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The sudden and unexpected dispute bore the hallmarks of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old future leader, whose recent foreign policy exploits include the war in Yemen, the boycott of Qatar and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's surprise resignation broadcast during a visit to the kingdom.

Nauert declined to denounce Saudi Arabia's detainment of the Badawi sisters.

According to the Mail and Globe, which cited Statistics Canada, Canada sold more than $33.7 million (CAD$44-million) worth of barley to Saudi Arabia in 2017.

"Particularly in smaller and rural institutions where many of our Canadian students don't necessarily have the opportunities of living in a large urban centre where they would be exposed to many different types of cultural experiences, it's even more important for us that we bring that kind of diversity to our campus", Weeks said.

"I don't think it will worsen the situation because very often when we make evident unjust imprisonments, like the case of Samar Badawi, that increases their protection and increases pressure on the government", she said in an interview Monday.

Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi's wife, who lives in Quebec with her three children, said Monday she was surprised when she heard about the two new arrests.

Saudi Arabia doesn't want to be lectured to by the West and they are delivering the message.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has stopped all the scholarship, training and fellowship programs to Canada.

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