US Weighs In on Saudi-Canada Diplomatic Dispute

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir gives a speech during the 8th Ministerial Meeting of China Arab States Cooperation Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

"We will always speak up for human rights, we will always speak up for women's rights around the world", she told reporters in Vancouver.

York University, meanwhile, says 115 Saudi students are now enrolled at the Toronto university and that it is also awaiting further information.

Meanwhile, through a statement published by the Palestinian Press Agency, President Mahmoud Abbas also assured the support of Palestinians to Saudi Arabia and its move against Canada's intervention. Saudi authorities accused Ottawa of interfering with its internal affairs.

The remarks came Tuesday in response to Saudi Arabia's expulsion of Canada's ambassador and the recall of its own ambassador from Ottawa, after Canada criticized the recent arrest of Saudi women's rights activists.

Officials said on state television that there are more than 12,000 Saudi students and family members in Canada, and that many will be transferred to other countries, including the United States.

Another source said Canada would also seek help from Britain.

Amnesty International has said Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, was recently detained along with Nassima al-Sada, another prominent female activist.

With that connection, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland took to Twitter to express her alarm and call for both Samar and Raif Badawi's release.

Freeland also commented briefly on reports that Saudi Arabia is cancelling scholarships for more than 15,000 Saudi students attending university in Canada, saying it would be a "shame" if those students lost the opportunity to study in Canada.

Her brother Mr Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" online back in 2014.

But is global criticism enough to improve human rights in the kingdom?

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia "will deal with any interference decisively", dismissing Canada's position as "built on misleading information", in a statement carried by state media.

'There isn't a strong bilateral trade relationship and poking the Trudeau government likely resonates with Saudi's hawkish regional allies.

Saudi Arabia's sudden sharp response to criticism shows the limits of reforms by Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who runs its day-to-day government.

"We are waiting for Saudi Arabia to offer some more specifics on what they intend to do", Freeland said when asked about the arms deal.

Ms Badawi is known for challenging Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system.

It was posted on the Twitter account of Infographic KSA which, according its website, is a Saudi youth organization made up of volunteers interested in technology.

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