Saudi FM says 'nothing to mediate' in dispute with Canada

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Saudi Arabia withdrawing students from Canada

The Saudi central bank and state pension funds have sent instructions to overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian equities, bond, and cash holdings at any cost, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

The national Saudi Arabian airline, Saudia, said this week that it would suspend all flights between the country and Canada, starting next week.

All these measures are retaliation for what started with a tweet by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland that expressed alarm over Saudi's arrest of Canadian citizen Samar Badawi, an acclaimed human rights activist.

Zakharova added that Canada would have been better placed to provide "constructive advice and assistance rather than criticism". "Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together".

Saudi Arabia shot back on Sunday, expelling the Canadian ambassador and freezing new trade with Canada.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry called Canada's criticism of the arrest "blatant interference in the kingdom's domestic affairs, against basic worldwide norms and all global protocols", and an "unacceptable affront" to its "laws and judicial process".

Russian Federation has said that Saudi Arabia has the right to reject Canada's interference and to express its annoyance at the "commanding tone" coming from a perceived position of moral superiority.

Now, the kingdom has suspended training, scholarships, and fellowships of 16,000 of their students studying in Canada and has asked them to find academic programs elsewhere, according to a report by Saudi-owned Television channel, Al Arabiya.

"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".

Responding to a question about the reason for the activists' arrests, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said that charges against them would be made public once their cases reach the courts, repeating earlier allegations that they had been in touch with foreign entities.

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