Alqunun was stopped last Saturday at a Bangkok airport by immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.
She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign that drew global attention to her case. It garnered enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of U.N. officials, who granted her refugee status on Wednesday.
If Canada is taking Alqunun, it could further upset Saudi-Canada relations. In August, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador to the kingdom and withdrew its own ambassador after Canada’s foreign ministry tweeted support for the arrests of women’s right activists. The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens studying in Canada to leave.
Alqunun had previously said on Twitter that she wished to seek refuge in Australia.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok on Thursday. She later told reporters that Australia was assessing Alqunun’s request for resettlement.