Saudi rules out mediation in Canada row, mulls new measures


Without commenting directly on the economic impact of the dispute and whether the federal government is planning to assist anyone impacted by Saudi Arabia's measures, Trudeau said "obviously Canada will always stand up for our workers and our companies, we need to make sure that we're protecting Canadian interests in any situation". Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, whose tweet sparked the hostility, said that "Canada will continue to advocate for human rights and for the fearless women and men who push for these fundamental rights around the world" after Saudi's response.

The report comes a day after the Toronto Stock Market saw a major selloff from an unknown worldwide dealer, in contrast to gains in other global markets.

The Canadian embassy in Riyadh called on the Saudi authorities in a tweet post to release a number of civil society activists, which Saudi Arabia considered an interference in its internal affairs.

Responding to the criticism, the kingdom expelled Canada's ambassador and asked their own ambassador to return from the North American country. The kingdom has since escalated its moves against Canada, suspending flights to Toronto and ordering the return of thousands of students who are studying at Canadian schools.

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It remains unclear how many Saudi patients will be affected by the decision.

The Financial Times (FT) reported the Saudi central bank and state pension funds had instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost", citing unidentified sources.

The divestment came after Canada's foreign ministry condemned the kingdom's arrest of a prominent women's rights activist.

"I will say Canada is very comfortable with our position", she told reporters. We are going to continue to enunciate what we believe are the appropriate ways of dealing with citizens, " Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Tuesday.

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Russian Federation voiced support for Saudi Arabia in its worsening row with Canada, telling Ottawa it was unacceptable to lecture the kingdom on human rights.

The Canadian dollar weakened to a two-week low against its USA counterpart on Wednesday as oil prices fell and after the FT report. But Canada sold 66,000 tonnes of barley to Saudi Arabia in 2016, and twice that previous year.

The Canadian dollar was down by 0.2% against the U.S. dollar to 1.3096 at 8:59 a.m. ET.

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