Saudi Arabia: 'There is nothing to mediate' in dispute with Canada

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Spokesman of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a press statement that his country stands firm in support of the stability and sovereignty of Arab countries, stressing the necessity of complying with the global norms and conventions governing relations between countries and respecting their sovereignty. Saudi Arabia responded by reducing the level of diplomatic relations and stopping cooperation with Ottawa in several fields, most notably trade, education and medicine.

She had wrote on Twitter that she was "very alarmed" over the arrests of the activists in Saudi Arabia, and on Friday, Canada's foreign ministry called for their "immediate release".

Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, speaking at a news conference in Riyadh, said there was no need for mediation in the dispute.

It also ended state-backed educational and medical programmes in Canada, making plans to relocate tens of thousands of Saudi students and patients to other countries.

Saudi Arabia's state airline said it would suspend flights to and from Canada, starting next week.

According to the FT's Simeon Kerr, Saudi Arabia ordered the divestments "no matter the cost" after Canada criticized its arrest of Samar Badawi, a women's rights activist.

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"It's up for the government of Saudi Arabia and the Canadians to work this out", said Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the state department, on Tuesday.

Since rising to power in 2015, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has courted Western allies by offering to buy billions of dollars worth of arms.

But the row threatens to slow Riyadh's foreign investment drive, a campaign already unsettled by a series of assertive foreign policy initiatives by the top oil exporter.

Saudi Arabia, ruled by its interpretation of Islamic law, rarely carries out crucifixions, but capital punishment remains common.

But she said: "At the same time, we hope that Saudi Arabia and Canada will find a civilized solution to their differences".

"We don't know which one, but the market has sold off, and the Canadian dollar also sold off from about that time".

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