By Ashifa Kassam
Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian ambassador and suspended new trade and investment with Ottawa after Canada’s foreign ministry urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists.
The Saudi foreign ministry has given Dennis Horak 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada, saying that it retained “its rights to take further action”.
“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia … will not accept interference in its internal affairs or imposed diktats from any country,” the ministry tweeted. “The Canadian position is an overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of #SaudiArabia and is in contravention of the most basic international norms and all the charters governing relations between states.”
Saudi state television later reported that the education ministry was coming up with an “urgent plan” to move thousands of Saudi scholarship students out of Canadian schools to take classes in other countries. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates publicly backed Saudi Arabia in the dispute.
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