Saudi Arabia and Canada to restore diplomatic relations and appoint ambassadors after three-year dispute


25th May 2023 – (Riyadh) After a three-year dispute, Saudi Arabia and Canada have finally agreed to restore diplomatic relations and appoint ambassadors. The Saudi foreign ministry announced this decision on Wednesday, citing mutual respect and common interests as the basis for the decision.

Canada’s Foreign Ministry also confirmed the appointment of Jean-Philippe Linteau as the new ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a statement released shortly after the announcement.

This significant move came after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held discussions during the APEC summit in Bangkok in November 2022. The decision to restore relations between the two nations is a positive step towards resolving the dispute that began in 2018.

The conflict dates back to August 2018 when Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her concerns over the arrest of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia and called for their immediate release. This tweet was followed by a statement from the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, which called for the release of the detained activists and expressed concern over their well-being.

The Saudi government saw this as an interference in their internal affairs and responded by recalling their ambassador from Canada, expelling Canada’s ambassador from Riyadh, and suspending all new trade and investment deals with Canada. The conflict escalated further when Saudi Arabia suspended all flights to and from Canada and ordered Saudi students studying in Canada to return home.