Saudi Arabia is selling off Canadian securities in response to Ottawa’s criticism of the arrest of a female activist, the Financial Times reports. Riyadh says it’s ready to take the step despite possible financial losses. According to the newspaper, Saudi Arabia’s overseas asset managers were told to dump Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings “no matter the cost.” Saudi Arabia is not a major investor in Canada, according to the FT source,

but the Kingdom wants to send a strong signal to authorities in Ottawa. The diplomatic rift between the two countries began after Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland demanded the release from prison of Saudi women’s rights activist Samar Badawi, who has family in Canada. Riyadh said the Canadian statement was “a blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs, against basic international norms and all international protocols.” READ MORE