Saudi Arabia has suspended university scholarship programs for its citizens in Canada and will relocate thousands of students already there, state television said on Monday amid heavy diplomatic tension between the two countries.
On Monday, Riyadh decided to expel the Canadian ambassador and froze any new commercial deal with Ottawa, denouncing Canadian critics of the arrests of human rights activists in the kingdom.
After this decision, Saudi Arabia also announced that it would "interrupt the internship and scholarship programs in Canada," according to El-Ekhbariya TV.
More than 7,000 students and their families are currently in Canada and authorities are already planning on transferring them to other countries, an education ministry official, Jassem al-Harbach, said on television.
"The United States and the United Kingdom will have the lion's share, given the educational opportunities in these two countries, and we have begun to coordinate with the missions there," he said. Harbach, Director of the Department of Scholarships in the Ministry.