In 2018, relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia became strained after the Canadian government’s criticism of the kingdom’s human rights record. Currently, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud have announced the restoration of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The announcement comes after months of diplomatic efforts by both countries, including phone calls between the two leaders and visits to Canada by Saudi officials. The announcement follows the Saudi government’s recent decision to lift the travel ban and asset seizure imposed on Canada in response to the comments in 2018.
Additionally, Canada and Saudi Arabia have agreed to reopen their embassies in each other’s countries. This marks an important step towards reestablishing the strong trade ties and cooperation between the two countries.
Canada has already resumed some of its $15 billion in annual exports to Saudi Arabia. However, Canada awaits a full resolution on the human rights situation in the kingdom before further progress can be made. Canada is insisting that Saudi Arabia must end the criminalization of dissent and ensure the freedom of expression and of the media.