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CIC Victoria: Saudia Arabia: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis

February 20, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm PST


Dennis Horak served as Canada’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Yemen from 2015 until he was declared persona non grata and expelled from Saudi Arabia on 5 August 2018 after the Government of Canada sent out a tweet calling for the immediate release of two Saudi activists. Drawing on his extensive diplomatic experience in the Middle East, Dennis will discuss trends in this complex part of the world with particular attention to the role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s modernization efforts, the Iran-Saudi dynamic and the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the future of Canada’s relations with Saudi Arabia, especially with calls to cancel the controversial sale of Canadian built light armoured vehicles to the Kingdom.

Speaker’s Biography

Dennis Horak joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1987. Prior to serving as Canada’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen he was posted to Stockholm (1989-90) and Warsaw (1990-93), after which he held positions in Ottawa in the UN Division and the Peacebuilding and Democratic Development Division. His first posting to Saudi Arabia with cross accreditation to Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates was from 1996-99. He then returned to Ottawa to serve in the Middle East Division, responsible for Iraq, Iran and Egypt and later was the director for the Gulf and Maghreb, after which he returned to the Middle East as head of mission in Iran 2009-2012. Before returning to Saudi Arabia as ambassador, he served from 2012-2015 as the director of the Middle East Division. He holds a BA (Hon) in Political Science from York University and a Masters from the London School of Economics.


Registration will commence two weeks prior to the event.

Contact person: Paula Skippon – CIC.Victoria.Sec@gmail.com


February 20, 2019
11:30 am - 1:30 pm PST
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The Union Club of BC
805 Gordon Street
Victoria, BC V8W 1Z6 Canada
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CIC Victoria Branch