Sask. government fears trade disturbance during Canada-Saudi Arabia dispute

The potential forced withdrawal affects 20 residents and 24 clinical fellows within the faculty of medicine. Alex Nguyen

The potential forced withdrawal affects 20 residents and 24 clinical fellows within the faculty of medicine. Alex Nguyen

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced they are freezing all trade agreements with Canada after a human-rights disagreement between the two countries. "However, this should not be in the form of interference in other countries' internal affairs", it said.

The Financial Times reported that the Saudi central bank and state pension funds had told their overseas asset managers to sell their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings.

"As some Canadian Muslims prepare to travel to #SaudiArabia for Hajj, NCCM advises those travelling on Saudi Arabian Airlines with return dates beyond August 13 to contact the airline or their travel agent to assess alternate options for return travel prior to leaving Canada", it states. Nevertheless, he highlighted that Canada continues to "engage diplomatically and politically" with Saudi Arabia, saying that the country has "respect for [Saudi's] importance in the world and recognize [s] that they have made progress on a number of important issues".

Kate Toogood, a spokesperson for the Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt, said the ministry is working with post-secondary institutions to assess the impact of Saudi Arabia's decision on Alberta schools.

The International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) based in Frankfurt said that Germany and the European Union must not remain passive in the dispute, German Press Agency dpa reported Friday.

"We are concerned about the potential implications on the affected Residents and are hopeful that this situation will be resolved further to the discussions that are ongoing", said Harry Gray, executive director of Resident Doctors of BC, in a written statement to The Ubyssey.

The 140-character limit, or 280 in some cases, is not enough to allow for the level of nuance that is required in diplomatic relations and tweets may not be subjected to the same rigorous review process, including sign off by the ambassador, that an official statement would be, he said.

Saudi Arabia's move had a brief impact on the Canadian dollar, with the loonie depreciating as much as 0.5 percent to CA$1.3120 per USA dollar Wednesday after the Financial Times reported the Saudi central bank and state pension funds instructed overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets.

"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together".

"I don't think things like this should be handled through Twitter", he said.

"We should lead by example with them, not sort of bludgeon our trading partners with our Canadian principles".

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