Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that his country had granted Saudi girl Rahaf al-Qanoun asylum, after her crisis at Thailand's airport began between deportation to Saudi Arabia and seeking asylum in Australia or Canada.
The Canadian announcement followed the departure of an 18-year-old Saudi girl from Bangkok airport for Toronto, Canada.
According to Reuters news agency, Rahaf, known as a Thai girl, went to the South Korean capital Seoul, which is expected to depart for Toronto.
"It was her desire to travel to Canada, she refused to meet her father and her brother, and they will return to their country tonight, too," said Surachat Hakpark, head of Thailand's Immigration Department.
Rahaf arrived in Bangkok on Saturday, initially denied entry by the authorities, but she sent messages on Twitter from the transit area of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, saying she had "fled Kuwait" and feared for her life if forced to return to Saudi Arabia.
Within hours, a Twitter campaign launched by a large network of activists began.
After a 48-hour airport crisis, authorities allowed her to enter the country, and UNHCR began to treat her as a refugee.
|Saudi Arabia's Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qanoun, known as the "Girl of Thailand"|
In response to a question on the implications of accepting the asylum application for the Saudi girl on Canadian-Saudi relations, the Canadian Prime Minister said his country will continue to defend human rights in the world.
It is noteworthy that Riyadh expelled the Canadian ambassador last year after Ottawa criticized the Saudi authorities on the detention of Saudi women activists, while Canadian authorities confirmed their position on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and repeatedly demanded a full explanation of the case.
Amid increasing domestic political pressure, Trudeau announced last month that his liberal government was looking for a way out of a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia.