Saudi Arabia and Canada have agreed to restore full diplomatic ties and appoint new ambassadors, statements from the two countries said on Wednesday, ending the fallout from a 2018 dispute that damaged relations and trade.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said that “in light of what has been discussed between HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, it has been decided to restore the level of diplomatic relations with Canada to its previous state.”
Canada said the decision follows discussions held between Trudeau and the Saudi Crown Prince on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Bangkok in November last year.
“Punitive trade measures will be lifted,” said a government source familiar with the agreement who was not authorized to speak on the record.
“Empty chairs at the end of the day don’t push our interests forward, and they don’t push things like human rights forward,” the source added.
“We’ve seen in recent years that Saudi is an important global player,” said the government source. “Saudi Arabia helped evacuate Canadians (in Sudan), and they’re also playing an important role in finding a solution to the conflict there.”
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has said “we need to have conversations with people we don’t always agree with on everything in order to find global solutions to global problems,” the source added.
Canada will appoint Jean-Philippe Linteau as its new ambassador in Riyadh, the statement said.