Canada and Saudi Arabia are normalizing diplomatic relations and appointing ambassadors five years after the Liberal government’s public comments on women’s rights led Riyadh to expel the Canadian ambassador.
In 2018 Global Affairs Canada tweeted that it wanted Saudi Arabia to “immediately release” human rights activists.
Both countries maintained their embassies but Saudi Arabia downgraded its presence in Ottawa and halted trade talks with Canada, saying it was unacceptable for Canada to weigh in on Saudi Arabia’s justice system.
Global Affairs Canada says in a statement today that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed during a chat last November during an international summit that they wanted to restore diplomatic relations.
The department says the two countries are putting their ties back to where they were in five years ago “on the basis of mutual respect and common interests.”
Canada’s new ambassador will be Jean-Philippe Linteau, a career diplomat who was most recently consul general in Dubai.
The Canadian Press