Saudi, Canada to restore diplomatic ties after 5-year dispute

The move comes after Canada's PM met Saudi Crown Prince on the sidelines of the APEC Forum in Bangkok in November 2022.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Canada have agreed to restore full diplomatic ties and appoint new ambassadors, ending a five-year dispute.

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The move comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Bangkok in November 2022.

The desire of both sides to restore relations is based on mutual respect and common interests, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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“Canada has appointed a new ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jean-Philippe Linteau,” the Canadian foreign ministry said in a statement.

What prompted the dispute?

In August 2018, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador, recalled its own ambassador from Ottawa and froze all new trade.

The decision comes after the Canada’s Global Affairs Ministry called for the immediate release of women’s rights activists detained by Saudi Arabia.

“Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi,” Canada’s Global Affairs Ministry tweeted.

“We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists,” it added.

The Kingdom, which only allowed women to drive that year, called the Canadian statement at the time a “blatant intrusion” into its internal affairs.

Following the dispute, Saudi Arabia suspended flights, trade and scholarships with Canada.

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