Economy

Saudi Arabian agency stops buying Canadian wheat, barley

Saudi Arabian agency stops buying Canadian wheat, barley

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.

The Saudi government plans to move them immediately to other schools in countries like the USA and United Kingdom.

Since Monday, the Middle Eastern country began imposing a flurry of diplomatic sanctions starting with the expulsion of the Canadian ambassador, Dennis Horak, who was deemed "persona non grata" on Twitter by Saudi officials, giving him 24 hours to leave the Gulf country.

"Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in Canadian domestic affairs", the Foreign Ministry said.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, estimated the overall trade relationship between Canada and Saudi Arabia totals between $3 and $4 billion a year.

"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights".

Canada's decrying the arrest of two female activists in Saudi Arabia clearly rubbed that country the wrong way.

Canada had been eager to boost investment and exports to Saudi Arabia as the kingdom diversifies its economy.

"The only class of wheat that Canada still exports to the region is durum but even that is not that much".

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Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia August 8, 2018.

Mohammad bin Abdullah al-Zulfi, a Saudi political analyst and former member of the country's Shura Council, a government advisory body, said he is proud of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his government's response to Canada.

"It's not just a size of a market", Cereals Canada's Cam Dahl said in an interview with iPolitics.

Germany recently also learned of Saudi Arabia's displeasure of foreign criticism when its diplomats criticized the war in Yemen.

Asked Tuesday about the tensions, European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said "we have been seeking clarification from Saudi authorities" over the arrests since May.

Sources told Reuters news agency that Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will most likely turn to the UAE for assistance, after Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic and trade ties with Canada.

Reid said there are several factors playing in the agreement's favour: the Saudis would have to pay penalties if they walk away from the deal, a pullout could hurt the country's reputation with other global trading partners and, perhaps most importantly, Riyadh wants the model of armoured vehicle that's produced in London.

"The Saudis have seriously inconvenienced 15,000 of their citizens in order to make a point and, given the unpredictability of Saudi foreign policy, I think it's anyone's guess what might happen to that deal".

A State Deparment official earlier in the day told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the US has raised the issue with Saudi Arabia.