Saudi Arabia and Canada have announced the restoration of full diplomatic relations, following 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 came following discussions between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Bangkok on November 18, 2022.
The statement said both sides desired for restoring 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 communique said.
“Canada has appointed a new ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jean-Philippe Linteau,” 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 state.”
On Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the two countries will “appoint new ambassadors” and a Canadian foreign ministry statement named Jean-Phillipe Linteau as Ottawa’s new envoy to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia made no mention of its pick for ambassador.
The latest announcement follows a frenetic stretch of high-stakes Saudi diplomacy triggered by the kingdom’s surprise Chinese-brokered rapprochement deal with Iran announced in March.
Since then, Saudi Arabia has restored bilateral ties with Syria and ramped up a push for peace in Yemen, where it leads a military coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The Kingdom is also hosting representatives of Sudan’s two warring generals, and, with the US, brokered a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire that took effect Monday.