Saudi suspends flights to Canada ahead of Hajj

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A Saudi Arabian youth organization is apologizing after after posting an image on Twitter appearing to show an Air Canada plane heading toward the CN Tower in a way that is reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

The activist is Samar Badawi, a noted women's rights advocate who was honored as an International Women of Courage Award Winner by the U.S. State Department in 2012.

Freeland late on Monday also tweeted an official statement saying that Canada would "continue to advocate for human rights and for the courageous women and men who push for these fundamental rights around the world".

"As of Tuesday August 7, 2018, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) can no longer accept milling wheat or feed barley cargoes of Canadian origin to be supplied", a copy of the notice seen by Reuters said.

One well placed source said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - which stresses the importance of human rights - planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates.

Canada on Monday refused to back down in its defense of human rights after Saudi Arabia froze new trade and investment and expelled the Canadian ambassador in retaliation for Ottawa's call to free arrested Saudi civil society activists.

Saudi state-owned airline has suspended direct flights to Toronto.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia "will deal with any interference decisively", dismissing Canada's position as "built on misleading information", in a statement carried by state media.

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The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for urging the release of rights activists.

Canada doubled down on Monday.

The accounts, which are followed by a number of Saudi diplomatic figures, are verified and largely share government announcements and pro-Riyadh messages.

"He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison, he received 50 lashes in 2015 and he could receive others, but he hasn't", she said. Some have since been released.

But she's also one of as many as a dozen women arrested in recent months, even as the kingdom's young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has tried to improve the country's image and taken steps to grant women more freedoms - including drivers' licenses.

Momani called it, "getting tough on Canada", which she said other countries in the region might welcome if they view Canadian foreign policy to be led by human rights concerns. In response, Canada pledged to continue advocating human rights.

His wife, Ensaf Haidar, and three children were granted Canadian citizenship earlier this summer, and live in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

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