Three times Canada’s embassies made it into the news
More often than not, Canadian diplomats rarely make it into the news. They’re usually busy dealing with the minutiae of foreign relations.
However, in the past little while Canada’s embassies and ambassadors have made global headlines.
Here are three times when Canada’s embassies or ambassadors made it into the news.
1. Canada’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia gets the boot
In August 2018, Canada was embroiled in a diplomatic battle with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over a tweet by Foreign Policy Canada.
In the tweet, Canada admonished Saudi Arabia for its arrests of human rights activists, like Samar Badawi.
Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.— Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) August 3, 2018
Several days after the original tweet, the Canadian embassy in Saudi Arabia repeated the message in Arabic.
Only a few hours later, the Saudi Foreign Ministry replied accusing the Canadian government of interfering in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia and undermining the kingdom’s sovereignty.
#Statement | The Canadian position is an overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of #SaudiArabia and is in contravention of the most basic international norms and all the charters governing relations between States.— Foreign Ministry ?? (@KSAmofaEN) August 5, 2018
Then the Kingdom proceeded to freeze all new trade and investment with Canada, recall all their international students and gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country.
Relations with the kingdom have been strained ever since.
2. Canada’s embassy in Greece gets attacked by far-left anarchists
In October 2018, Canada’s embassy in Athens was attacked and vandalized by a far-left anarchist group.
The group “Rouvikonas” posted a video of the attack on social media claiming that the attack was in response to Canadian mining operations in Greece.
The video depicts a group of masked individuals throw rocks and pummel the embassy with projectiles and weapons.
Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack and reported that while the building did suffer material damages, nobody was hurt in the incident.
3. Canada’s ambassador to China’s comments on Meng Wanzhou extradition
In the latest incident, Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum controversially told a Chinese audience that Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou, has a strong case against her extradition request to the United States.
Meng Wanzhou is wanted for conspiracy to evade international sanctions on Iran.
The ambassador has since back pedalled on his statement claiming that he had “misspoken”.
The event has lead to even more confusion in what is already a chaotic situation.