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Saudi Arabia and Canada resolve their 2018 human rights disagreement, reestablishing diplomatic relations

The governments of Saudi Arabia and Canada have officially ended their dispute over human rights issues that began in August 2018. The two countries agreed to restore diplomatic ties after intense negotiations led by both countries’ foreign ministers. The kingdom withdrew its ambassador from Canada over comments the foreign ministry made criticizing the arrest of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia. The dispute had caused a diplomatic row that saw billions of dollars of investments pulled from Canada, and an end to flights to and from the kingdom. Saudi Arabia also expelled the Canadian ambassador from the country. The diplomatic rift ended with both sides agreeing to “continue their cooperation and work towards strengthening their bilateral relations in all aspects”. The agreement also included a commitment to “further dialogue and direct communication between the two governments to prevent any further misunderstandings”.