Canada and Saudi Arabia restore diplomatic relations

The two sides agreed to restore diplomatic relations On the basis of mutual respect and common interestsGlobal Affairs Canada wrote in a statement.

The warmth in relations between the two countries comes six months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Relations between the two countries have been suspended since 2018, after the arrest of the women’s rights activist in Saudi Arabia, Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, who has been imprisoned in this country since 2012.

The latter had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his progressive blog posts. He was also subjected to fifty lashes, a painful ordeal for him and his family, who were forced to leave the country and settle in Canada.

Diplomatic break

At the time of Raif Badawi’s sister’s arrest, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland publicly expressed concern about their fate on Twitter and called for their release.

In response, Saudi Arabia then announced the expulsion of the Canadian ambassador, recalling its ambassador, forcing thousands of students to leave and freezing any new trade or investment with Canada.

Kingdom denounced dictate Canada, which had criticized the suppression of opponents of the regime.

On Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie indicated that the two countries would do so Appointment of new ambassadorsA press release from his ministry indicated that Jean-Philippe Linto would be the new envoy to the kingdom.

This announcement from Riyadh is the latest in a series of rapprochements between Saudi Arabia and other countries, including Iran, a rival regional power, a few weeks ago, and then Syria.

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The kingdom is also trying to push for a ceasefire in Sudan, where two generals have been at war since April 15.

A change in dialect in Riyadh

According to Thomas Juneau, professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa, it is the position of Saudi Arabia that has changed in recent years, not that of Canada, which has not yet apologized for its call for respect for human rights in the Kingdom.

The specialist recalls that between 2016 and 2019, Saudi foreign policy has been very aggressive, especially with the war in Yemen, the blockade on Qatar, and the kidnapping [de l’ancien] Lebanese Prime Minister [Saad Hariri].

Over the past year or two, there have been major efforts on the Saudi side to completely change its foreign policy and move away from regional conflicts as much as possible.Mr. Juno adds.

All because [le prince héritier d’Arabie saoudite] Mohammed bin Salman has a very ambitious program of social and economic reforms […] Which does not mean democratization [mais qui] He wants to bring about a revolution in Saudi Arabia. »

Quote from Thomas Juneau is Professor of International Relations at the University of Ottawa

Prince nicknamed “MBS”, Understanding that his reform goals will not succeed if Saudi Arabia is embroiled in all kinds of military or diplomatic conflictsSays Mr. Juno.

according to him, Obviously, the dispute with Canada is marginal on this account, […] But this does not preclude that by settling this conflict, Mohammed bin Salman He wants to send a signal to European countriesHoping to attract more and more Western investments to the Kingdom.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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