The Saudi Arabian foreign ministry has recalled its ambassador from Canada and given the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country. Riyadh is also freezing all new trade and investment deals with Canada.

The decision has been reported by Saudi Arabia’s official Saudi Press Agency. It is understood to come in response to Canada’s statement of concern over the arrests of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement issued by the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry, Riyadh slams as “totally false” allegations by the Canadian authorities that recent arrests of several civil society activists were unwarranted.

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