Canada’s prime minister announced that a multibillion-dollar deal to sell armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia should be ended as soon as possible. However, the official way to leave the deal wasn’t yet figured out.
The relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia started to worse last August, the security forces attacking civilian protesters and Trudeau’s government temporarily suspended permits for armoured vehicles exported to the Kingdom. After Khashoggi’s murder, Canada preferred to take the hardline regarding Saudi Arabia and to terminate the arms deal.
Justin Trudeau noted that his country is engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to the Middle Eastern country. In 2014, the multi-billion arms deal was initiated under the then-Conservative Cabinet but continued under the Liberals. In the frame of that deal, Canada supplies Saudi Arabia with light armoured vehicles and is worth C$14.8bn.
After disappearing of Jamal Khashoggi and the international criticism, PM Trudeau has been under non-stop pressure from policy advisers to cancel the arms deal with Saudis. Two European countries, Germany and Sweden, have already cancelled arms contracts with Saudi Arabia but Canadian prime minister has previously said that cancelling the contract would cost the government billions. From another side, the arms control activists are frustrated now with Trudeau’s intention to leave the Saudi arms deal.