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Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador, To Withdraw Students From Canada Over Women's Rights Criticism

"The students have been asked by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to continue their studies if they are now registered in the spring and summer session, but to deregister or cancel their registration for the fall of 2018 and to leave Canada within four weeks of the departure of the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh", said Livia Castellanos, the university's associate vice-president (international).

Saudi Arabia has suspended scholarships to Canada and will relocate students already there, state media said Monday, after the kingdom abruptly cut ties with Ottawa over criticism of its jailing of rights activists.

Among those arrested was Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012. "They are the best interlocutor for Canada in the region", he said.

"Our government has consistently supported women's rights internationally, and we have consistently spoken out for women's rights", she said Tuesday. It follows Ottawa's rebuke of Riyadh for the arrest of a number of human rights activists.

While the General Dynamics jobs are critical for her community, she also questioned why Canada now exports military equipment to non-NATO countries like Saudi Arabia, which she said has a "spotty human rights record".

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She reiterated that Ottawa should suspend the sale of armoured vehicles to the Saudis, claiming that Amnesty still has strong reasons to believe they are being used in Yemen to commit serious human rights violations. But the task of approving the export permits fell to the Liberals, who were lobbied by human rights activists to say no.

Paul stressed the situation is worse when the government does what it wants in secret and is not singled out for alleged human rights violations.

The Saudi cabinet renewed on Tuesday its rejection of any interference in its internal affairs, Saudi Press Agency reported. Her former husband, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is now serving a 15-year prison sentence for his human rights work and her brother, the famed activist and blogger - Raif Badawi - has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting a website for public discourse.

The office of Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland did not respond to requests for comment.

"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together".

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The dispute appears centered around tweets by Canadian diplomats calling on the kingdom to "immediately release" detained women's rights activists.

"The only people buying oil from Saudi Arabia would be Irving".

The Saudi Foreign Ministry added: "The Kingdom views the Canadian position as an affront to the Kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty".

As a result of the Canadian government tweets, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador to the country, Dennis Horak, and recalled its envoy in Canada.

But the move could jeopardise a controversial C$15b ($11.5b, £9b) arms deal between the two countries.

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A diplomatic row between Canada and Saudi Arabia isn't expected to have much impact on student enrolment at Thompson Rivers University.

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