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Saudi Arabia freezes new trade with Canada for urging activists’ release

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will suspend new trade and investment with Canada after that country’s foreign ministry urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists, it said in a statement released to the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

It also gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada, the statement by the Saudi foreign ministry said, adding it “will freeze all new trade and investment transactions with Canada whilst retaining its rights to take further action.”

The Saudi ministry had been briefed that the Canadian foreign ministry and the Canadian embassy urged the Saudi authorities to “immediately release” the civil rights activists, the statement said.

Reporting by Nayera Abdullah in Cairo; Editing by Susan Thomas

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