Saudi claims ‘badge of pride’ in break with Canada | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Saudi claims ‘badge of pride’ in break with Canada

Canada’s foreign ministry raised alarm over the arrest of a number of Saudi activists, including Samar Badawi, the sister of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi. Raif’s wife and children reside in Canada.

Most irksome to the Saudi authorities, Canada labeled those arrested as “peaceful human rights activists” and called for their “immediate release.”

The Saudi foreign ministry snapped back with a barrage of Tweets, calling the Canadian appeal an attack on its sovereignty, announcing a freeze on new trade deals, and declaring the Canadian ambassador a “persona non grata.”

Riyadh quickly cancelled all academic scholarships for its students in Canada, who number in the thousands. A $15 billion sale of Canadian combat vehicles, inked under the previous administration, hangs in the balance.

It was a shock response, but one that analysts say was calibrated to send a big message with minimal cost.

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