Saudi airline stops flights to Canada amid escalating diplomatic row

Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador, To Withdraw Students From Canada Over Women's Rights Criticism

Saudi Airlines operates at least two routes to the country, both of which depart from Toronto.

In response, the Saudi government has expelled Canada's ambassador from the country and frozen all new trade with Canada.

Matt Pascuzzo said the Canadian government is in constant contact with Saudi Arabia and still waiting to get all the facts from the Saudis.

'We consider the Canadian ambassador to the kingdom persona non grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours'.

Infographic KSA, a Saudi verified Twitter account that has more than 35,000 followers and another 88,000 on Instagram, tweeted on Monday an image that showed an Air Canada airplane heading toward Toronto's CN Tower.

Samar Badawi is a famed women's right activist and is the sister of Raif Badawi, a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years for insulting Islam by a Saudi Arabian court in 2014.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir countered shortly after in an Arabic tweet saying the "surprising Canadian position is based on inaccurate information, the arrests are subject to our judicial systems that guarantee their rights".

The move followed the Kingdom's announcement yesterday that it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and had recalled its envoy while freezing all new trade, in protest at Ottawa's vigorous calls for the release of jailed activists.

Woman fined $156 for wearing face veil in Denmark
Local media report a 28-year-old woman was fined after getting into a scuffle with a woman trying to remove her veil. The woman was also asked to either remove the veil or leave, opting for the latter, according to the AP.

"Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women's rights and freedom of expression around the world", she said.

A number of rights campaigners, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, have been arrested in the kingdom.

Crown Prince Mohammed, as heir to the throne, is in line to become the first Saudi king from a new generation after a succession of six brothers dating to 1953.

"We're going to stand with the values that we know are important to Canadians and Saudi Arabia will take the decisions that they take", Morneau said. The country has already demanded its approximately 15,000 students studying in Canada return home within a month.

In the fist comments by Washington since the dispute erupted, a U.S. State Department official said the United States had asked Riyadh for details on the detention of activists.

Saudi Arabia's media ministry said it was investigating the incident.

"These countries are able to host the students, and we at the ministry are committed to facilitating the students' transfers so they can easily complete their education", he said.

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