What began with a statement of concern over human rights has ballooned into the biggest diplomatic feud in years between Canada and Saudi Arabia.
In a tweet on Friday, the Canadian Foreign Ministry said it was "gravely concerned" by the arrest of Saudi activist Samar Badawi and other women's rights campaigners, and called for their release.
Since then, the Saudi government has responded with a steady string of retaliatory measures, expelling the Canadian ambassador from Riyadh and recalling the Saudi envoy to Ottawa, suspending Saudi state airline flights to Toronto, and ending thousands of Saudi scholarship programs in Canada.
Then on Tuesday, Saudi authorities announced they would halt all medical treatment programs in Canada and transfer Saudi patients to hospitals outside the country.
The kingdom also said it plans to freeze future trade relations between the two countries.
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