Canada–Saudi Arabia relations

Canadian–Saudi relations
Map indicating locations of Canada and Saudi Arabia

Canada

Saudi Arabia
Diplomatic Mission
Embassy of Canada, Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaThe Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Ottawa, Canada
Envoy
Ambassador of Canada to Saudi Arabia Dennis Horak (expelled, persona non grata)Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Canada Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairi (withdrawn)

Canadian–Saudi relations are the relations between Canada and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The two share robust economic ties, with Saudi Arabia representing Canada's second largest trading partner in the Middle East,[1] a relation that was bolstered in February 2014 with the purchase of C$15 billion worth of Canadian arms by Saudi Arabia.[2] Until August 2018, there were over 16,000 Saudi students on government scholarships in Canada.[3]

Relations between the two have gradually soured after a diplomatic row which was sparked by the Canadian government's call for the immediate release of blogger Raif Badawi and his sister Samar via Twitter on 5 August 2018 over human rights concerns. In response, Saudi Arabia accused Canada of interfering in its internal affairs and expelled the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, declaring him persona non grata and giving him 48 hours to leave the country. It also recalled its own ambassador from Ottawa,[4] suspended all new trade (though maintaining the sale of oil to Canada), froze all air Saudia flights to and from Toronto and cancelled scholarships for thousands of Saudi students in Canada.[5]