Saudi Arabia rules out mediation in Canada row, may take more measures

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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.

Samar Badawi was arrested along with fellow campaigner Nassima al-Sadah last week, the latest targets of what Human Rights Watch called an "unprecedented government crackdown" on women activists.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Health Attaché in the United States and Canada, Dr. Fahd Al-Tamimi, said the Kingdom has stopped all treatment programs in Canada and is transferring all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals to other hospitals outside Canada. "A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected", Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh.

Zakharova added that Canada would have been better placed to provide "constructive advice and assistance rather than criticism".

It's also stopped medical treatment programs in which Saudi patients are sent to hospitals in Canada. But Canada sold 66,000 tonnes of barley to Saudi Arabia in 2016, and twice that past year.

The Saudi foreign ministry has also ordered Canada's ambassador, Dennis Horak, to leave the country.

The Saudi foreign minister said

Some university professors expressed regret over the decision, but said they still supported Canadian government's position.

Saudi Arabia's state airline said it would suspend flights to and from Canada, starting next week.

Saudi Arabia, ruled by its interpretation of Islamic law, rarely carries out crucifixions, but capital punishment remains common.

The move to block Canadian grain is the Kingdom's attempt to punish Canada economically after Global Affairs Canada publicly criticized the Kingdom for jailing dissidents, enraging the regime.

"We've been pretty clear in our dealings around the world and specifically in Saudi Arabia that we know that it's important that we bring Canadian values around the world". "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".

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