Canada asks for help in Saudi dispute

Pakistan supports Saudi Arabia in diplomatic row with Canada

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia May 25, 2018.

Algeria on Thursday expressed its concern about the repercussions of the crisis in relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada, calling for respect for the sovereignty of States and non-interference in their internal affairs. "Canada will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights", he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to extend an olive branch on Wednesday, saying he would keep pressing Saudi Arabia on civil liberties but also saying the Gulf Arab state had made some progress on human rights.

According to the Alberta government, 233 global students studying in the province listed Saudi Arabia as their country of citizenship from 2016-2017, and that about 130 of those students are studying at the U of A, with 50 of them completing their medical residency. Riyadh also said it will relocate thousands of Saudi students studying in Canada to other countries, while state airline Saudia (also known as Saudi Arabian Airlines) announced it was suspending flights to Toronto.

Tensions have been high between Canada and Saudi Arabia since Monday when Riyadh expelled Canada's ambassador, recalled its own envoy and froze all new trade and investments.

Saudi Arabia also recalled its ambassador in Ottawa and halted all new investment and trade transactions with Canada, ordered almost 15,000 Saudi students in Canada to transfer to other countries, and suspended flights to Canada.

The intensity of Saudi Arabia's response has puzzled many, who say it is an extreme reaction to a relatively tame tweet that isn't much different from what Canada has said before. "We can't do it for them, they need to resolve it together", Nauert said in a briefing. "The matter is not about human rights, it is a matter of national security", Jubeir said, referring to the row with Canada.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks to the media following NAFTA renegotiations in Montreal, Quebec.

"I think people understand that in today's world there are a broad range of communications tools available to individuals, to countries, to share messages, to make statements", he said.

Stewart said the political fight between the two nations is unnecessary and will hurt Canadians.

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