A Canadian tweet in a Saudi king's court crosses a red line

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The Minister of Civil Service, Sulaiman Bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan, who also heads the Training and Scholarship Committee - an affiliate of his ministry, explained that the committee's secretariat has been working 24 hours a day to provide support for Saudi missions overseas to help the smooth transfer of those on scholarship in Canada to other countries and universities.

The senior official, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the diplomacy, said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had spoken with her counterparts in the two European nations. That, the Saudi government said, was meddling in its domestic affairs and would not be tolerated.

The dispute has threatened to undermine Riyadh's foreign investment drive, a campaign already unsettled by a series of assertive political and diplomatic initiatives by the top oil exporter.

"Canada will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights", Trudeau said during an event Wednesday in Montreal.

The diplomatic dispute began last week after Freeland tweeted concerns about the arrests of social activists, including Samar Badawi, who has advocated for women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Later, the Canadian government called for the immediate release of jailed activists.

Canada is one of the leading exporters of barley to Saudi Arabia.

Canada will not adopt retaliatory economic sanctions in its escalating diplomatic war with Saudi Arabia, Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday.

"At present we do not have enough verified information to make additional comments".

The U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that both Canada and Saudi Arabia "are close partners".

"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. "They need to resolve it together", US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told a briefing on Wednesday.

Morneau later said he "can't yet fully quantify" the impacts in Canada of the Saudi actions, since Ottawa is still trying to collect information on their full scope.

But several of those going say they used a contact number provided by the airline, but there was no answer when they telephoned.

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