Canada and Saudi Arabia have agreed to mend their relations and appoint new ambassadors, marking the resolution of a dispute that began in 2018. The decision to restore full diplomatic ties was reached during discussions between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Both countries expressed a desire for mutual respect and common interests in rebuilding their diplomatic relationship.
The disagreement between Canada and Saudi Arabia started before the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, when Canada’s embassy in Riyadh called for the release of detained women’s rights activists.
In response, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador, imposed trade bans, and halted new trade agreements. The recent decision will see the lifting of punitive trade measures, with the full impact on trade still uncertain.
Saudi Arabia was Canada’s largest export market in the region in 2021, with significant trade in oil, petrochemicals, and transportation equipment. This restoration of diplomatic ties reflects a recognition that constructive dialogue and engagement are crucial for advancing mutual interests and addressing issues such as human rights.
The move also aligns with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to assert Saudi Arabia’s regional influence amidst global challenges.