Saudi suspends scholarships to Canada, transfers thousands to other countries

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Saudi Arabia announced on Monday the suspension of training, scholarships and fellowships to Canada and the transfer all its students in that state to other countries

It comes after it it expelled the Canadian ambassador on Monday and froze all new business with Ottawa.


Saudi Arabia has decided to freeze all new trade and investment agreements between the kingdom and Canada while retaining its right to take further action.

Canada receives 10 percent of its imported crude oil from Saudi Arabia while bilateral trade between the two nations is $3 billion a year, according to AP.

Armored tanks and personnel carriers have been Canada's biggest recent export to the kingdom. A London, Ontario-based firm called General Dynamics Land Systems signed a $15 billion deal with Saudi Arabia in 2014 to export its light-armored vehicles to the kingdom, the largest-ever arms deal.

Bahrain, UAE, Palestinian Authority stand by Saudi Arabia in Canada row

The Saudi Foreign Ministry made the announcement early Monday, giving Ambassador Dennis Horak 24 hours to leave the kingdom. Saudi Arabia said it would recall its ambassador to Canada as well.

"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. "Canada and all other nations need to know that they can't claim to be more concerned than the kingdom over its own citizens."

Ayham Kamel, the head of the Eurasia Group's Mideast practice, expressed surprise that Canada hadn't realized pushing the message Saudi citizens was a mistake, according to AP.

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