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It stopped medical treatment of Saudis in Canada and made arrangements to bring home Saudi patients.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that human rights should be promoted with respect for specific national customs and traditions. Saudi holdings of Canadian dollar reserves are between $10 billion and $25 billion, with the upper end of that estimate representing 10 per cent of daily Canadian dollar volumes, according to estimates from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada.

Following a tweet by Canada's foreign ministry calling for the immediate release of detained human rights activists, Saudi Arabia instigated a full-blown diplomatic crisis.

Wednesday's death sentence for Jamaleddeen coincides with a new Saudi state media push to attack Canada's human rights record as an escalation in a growing feud between the two distant countries.

Responding to a question about the reason for the arrest of the activists, Jubeir repeated earlier allegations that they had been in touch with foreign entities. "Therefore, Canada must correct its actions towards the kingdom".

Canada imported 71,300 barrels of crude a day from Saudi Arabia as of 2014, accounting for about 11 percent of the country's imports, according to Natural Resources Canada.

Death toll in Lombok quake hits 131, over 156000 displaced
A focus for rescuers is a mosque in Karang Pangsor village in North Lombok which collapsed with worshippers still inside. The natural disaster hit the Indonesian island of Lombok, a popular tourist destination.

The United States said Tuesday that both Canada and Saudi Arabia are "close partners" of the US, and asked the Saudi government for more information of the detention of several activists.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), issued a notice to exporters that it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley.

"I will say Canada is very comfortable with our position", she told reporters.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to hold a news conference in Montreal.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently went on a global tour touting proposed economic reforms and promoting his vision for the kingdom as "the next Europe".

The dispute may hurt what is a modest bilateral trade worth almost $4 billion a year.


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