Saudi Arabia, Canada agree to restore diplomatic ties after 5-year hiatus

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. — AFP/Reuters/File

Saudi Arabia and Canada have announced the restoration of full diplomatic ties after a five-year dispute over human rights that saw Riyadh expel Ottawa’s ambassador.

An official statement issued by the Canadian government on Wednesday said the development was the result of a meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Bangkok. It has come out after the discussion on the occasion of the meeting. November 18, 2022.

The statement said both sides are keen to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries “on the basis of mutual respect and common interests”.

Ottawa has decided to restore the level of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia to its previous level, the statement said.

“Canada has appointed Jean-Philippe Lantau as the new ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” it added.

In a separate statement, the Saudi foreign minister confirmed the development, saying, “It has been decided to restore the level of diplomatic relations with Canada to its previous status.”

On Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the two countries would “appoint new ambassadors,” and a Canadian foreign ministry statement named Jean-Philippe Lantau as Ottawa’s new ambassador to the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia did not mention the choice of its ambassador.

The latest announcement follows a flurry of Saudi Arabian diplomacy following the China-brokered reconciliation deal with Iran announced in March.

Since then, Saudi Arabia has restored bilateral ties with Syria and stepped up efforts for peace in Yemen, where it is leading a military coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The kingdom is also hosting representatives of Sudan’s two warring generals, and brokered a seven-day humanitarian truce with the United States that took effect Monday.

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