Saudi Arabia freezes Canada trade ties, recalls envoy

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Samar Badawi. File photoImage copyright
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Women’s rights activist Samar Badawi was arrested last week

Saudi Arabia has said it is freezing all new trade and investment with Canada over its “interference” in the Gulf Kingdom’s internal affairs.

In a series of tweets, the Saudi foreign ministry said it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and recalling its own envoy in Canada.

The move comes after Canada said it was “gravely concerned” about the arrest of several human rights activists.

Among those arrested was Saudi-American women’s rights campaigner Samar Badawi.

Ms Badawi had been calling for an end to Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system.

The arrests are at odds with the progressive image the government has projected this year under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Canada’s government has so far made no public comments on Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic measures.

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Ms Badawi, pictured here with Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, received an International Women of Courage Award in 2012

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