Saudi Arabia and Canada have reached an agreement to mend their diplomatic ties and appoint new ambassadors, bringing an end to a five-year dispute stemming from Riyadh’s imprisonment of activists. The decision was made following discussions between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Bangkok in November 2022. Both leaders expressed their commitment to restoring diplomatic relations based on mutual respect and shared interests.
The deterioration of relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia began in 2018 when Canadian officials accused the kingdom of human rights violations and called for the release of detained activists. In response, Saudi Arabia halted new trade and investment agreements, suspended flights to Canada, recalled its students studying there, and expelled the Canadian ambassador. This breakdown in diplomatic and trade relations also had an impact on Saudi students studying in Canada.
However, the recent decision to restore diplomatic ties and appoint new ambassadors marks a positive development, aiming to repair the damage inflicted on trade and relations between the two nations. Jean-Philippe Linteau has been named as Canada’s new ambassador to Riyadh, and Saudi Arabia has reinstated diplomatic relations with Canada to their previous level.
The restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Canada signifies a significant stride towards fostering mutual respect and shared interests. It is anticipated that this reconciliation will enhance trade, investment, cultural exchanges, and educational cooperation. The appointment of new ambassadors will further fortify diplomatic relations and promote understanding between the two countries.