Canada has expressed support for the Saudi led coalition, but beyond that we have stayed on the side-lines.
“Canada’s relationship with Yemen is minimal. Yemen has an embassy in Ottawa, but Canada is represented by its embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s chargé d’affaires in Canada, Ahmed Al-Emad, declined to speak with Embassy for this story because of the difficulty of obtaining a go-ahead through fractured communications with his government.
Other than minor funding for civil society organizations and multilateral organizations operating there, Canada’s involvement is limited. It pulled out of an international assistance group called Friends of Yemen in 2012, Embassy reported.
Calgary-based oil producer Nexen, acquired by China National Offshore Oil Corporation in 2013, has pulled out of Yemen. At one time, it was Yemen’s biggest taxpayer, said University of Ottawa professor Thomas Juneau, who has studied and travelled extensively in Yemen.
But with it gone, the incentive for a stronger Canadian presence in Yemen has all but disappeared, he said.
Before joining the university a year ago, Mr. Juneau had spent a dozen years as a Middle East analyst at the Department of National Defence.
“I never worked much on Yemen at DND. And, in a way, that was illustrative of the fact that from a Canadian perspective there’s never been that much involvement,” he said. “The humanitarian aspect clearly matters. But the business interest is extremely limited. The diplomatic interest is extremely limited.””