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Hariri later rescinded the resignation, widely believed to be orchestrated by Riyadh, and returned to Beirut.

The diplomatic dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia escalated extremely quickly and could take an intervention by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cool down, former foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay says.

The true impact of Saudi Arabia's flexing of diplomatic muscle is still unclear. It wasn't immediately clear if he was in the kingdom.

On Monday, the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted: 'The kingdom announces that it is recalling its ambassador to Canada for consultation.

"It's not just a size of a market", Cereals Canada's Cam Dahl said in an interview with iPolitics.

Saudi Arabia responded by suspending flights between the two countries, moving thousands of Saudi students studying at Canadian schools and withdrawing the Saudi ambassador to Canada, Reuters reported.

Saudi state airline Saudia said it was suspending flights to and from Toronto, Canada's largest city.

Strangely, in spite of all this, Saudi Arabia and the United States are still strategic allies.

Freeland also addressed the dispute in Vancouver.

"It's something that we do", Freeland said.




"We want to continue to talk about the fact that women and men should have equality in this country and other countries", she said.

Canadian agriculture, he said, is heavily dependent on exports.

The British government on Tuesday urged Canada and Saudi Arabia to show restraint. Her former husband, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is now serving a 15-year prison sentence for his human rights work and her brother, the famed activist and blogger - Raif Badawi - has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting a website for public discourse.

His case long has been raised by global human rights groups and Western diplomats, including Canadians, who have called on Saudi Arabia to free him. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi", Freeland tweeted.

The tensions seem to have begun with a tweet from Canada's Foreign Affairs Department, which decried the detention of some female activists in Saudi Arabia. Women still need a male guardian's permission to travel overseas and to marry.

Saudi investments in Canada include G3 Global Holdings Ltd., a joint venture between Bunge Ltd. and Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Co., which purchased the former Canadian Wheat Board in 2015. Much of that was tanks, armored personnel carriers and motor vehicles.

In response, the Saudi government has expelled Canada's ambassador from the country and frozen all new trade with Canada.

When asked about the contract, Freeland said the government "looks forward" to hearing from Riyadh about the future of the deal. Gabriel also made remarks that were seen as critical of the Saudi war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a grand reform plan, called Vision 2030, that aims to transform the kingdom from a staunchly conservative petrostate to a more socially liberal country less dependent on oil. Both the Saudi and Canadian ambassadors were away on leave at the time.


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