Saudi Arabia Appears To Be Trying To Tank Canadian Asset Prices

Pauline Gross
August 8, 2018

Saudi Arabia says there is no room for mediation in the kingdom's escalating diplomatic dispute with Canada, days after Riyadh abruptly cut ties with Ottawa over its criticism of the Saudi crackdown on dissent.

The Canadian embassy in Riyadh called on the Saudi authorities in a tweet post to release a number of civil society activists, which Saudi Arabia considered an interference in its internal affairs.

Days after Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador, the country has made a decision to freeze new trade deals and force Saudi students studying in Canada to leave.

Saudi Arabia notably angry with Canada has suspended scholarships for Saudi students in Canadian universities, colleges and other schools and plans to relocate them to other countries.

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 global purchase tenders, according to European traders.

According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia has invested about $6 billion into Canada since 2006.

The kingdom has suspended educational exchanges with Canada and moved Saudi scholars to other countries.

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Relations between the countries have dramatically deteriorated following last week's intervention by Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, over the detention of women's rights activists.

The United States said Tuesday that both Canada and Saudi Arabia are "close partners" of the US, and asked the Saudi government for more information of the detention of several activists.

"7, 2018, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) can no longer accept milling wheat or feed barley cargoes of Canadian origin to be supplied", the notice to grain traders said. "Therefore, Canada must correct its actions towards the kingdom".

Saudi Arabia's quick and severe response is worth noting.

"The matter is not about human rights; it is a matter of national security", the minister said.

A diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia shows no sign of abating after Riyadh ordered thousands of Saudi students in Canada to leave the country. "We are always going to speak up for human rights, we're always going to speak up for women's rights, and that is not going to change".

Other reports by GizPress

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