Riyadh and Ottawa said the decision to restore diplomatic ties was made after high-level talks in November last year. In 2018, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Canada.
Saudi Arabia and Canada announced on Wednesday the full restoration of diplomatic ties “on the basis of mutual respect and common interests” after a five-year dispute over the detention of human rights activists.
According to the Saudi Foreign Ministry, the decision to restore the level of diplomatic relations with Canada was made in light of the November talks between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The meeting between the two leaders took place during the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bangkok.
What issues did the parties agree on?
Canada also announced the appointment of Jean-Philippe Lenteau as its ambassador to Riyadh. A Canadian government source familiar with the details of the agreement on the restoration of relations between the two countries told news agency Reuters that the deal would result in the lifting of punitive trade measures. Chairs do not serve our interests because they do not help advance issues such as human rights.”
The source also described Saudi Arabia as a “major global power” in recent years. In this regard, he also mentioned Saudi Arabia’s cooperation in the evacuation of Canadian citizens from the war-torn country of Sudan last month. “To find solutions to global problems, we need to talk to people with whom we don’t always agree,” Reuters quoted Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly as saying.
Why did the conflict arise?
The conflict between the two countries began in August 2018, when the Canadian embassy in Riyadh tweeted in Arabic, calling for the immediate release of women’s rights activists detained in Saudi Arabia. was emphasized.
After this tweet, Riyadh expelled the Canadian ambassador and also recalled its ambassador from Ottawa. It also froze new trade relations with Canada. Saudi Arabia allowed women to drive the same year and called Canada’s statement a “flagrant interference” in its internal affairs.
In the same year, Western countries condemned the murder of Saudi-born American journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. In 2020, five alleged killers were convicted for their involvement in the incident. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has also been accused of involvement in the murder, but Saudi Arabia has consistently denied it.
Ottawa demanded that Saudi Arabia release the arrested human rights activists, after which in August 2018, Riyadh announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Canada.