KSA-USA: A historic relationship and a strategic partnership

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The Kingdom grabbed international attention in general and the USA in particular, driven by its Islamic, political and economic position. The Kingdom’s leading role in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and its strategic location, contribute to strengthening the bilateral relationship with the USA, maintaining the stability, security, and prosperity of the Gulf and the Middle East, and continuing consultations on many regional and global issues of importance for the two countries

Saudi- US bilateral relations are built on solid foundations based on respect, cooperation, and common interests, and enjoy a special status on both sides emanating from its history that dated back to 1931, when the journey of exploration and production of oil in the Kingdom started on a commercial basis, and when late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud granted the exploration right to an American company, followed by the signing of a cooperation agreement between the two countries in 1933 that supported this economic aspect which has become a global economic power.

The historic meeting that brought together King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud and US President Franklin Roosevelt on board the American cruiser (USS Concy) on February 14, 1945, established decades of strategic relations and partnership based on respect and mutual trust between the Kingdom and the United States.

This meeting was the turning point in the transition of the relations between the Kingdom and America to a new stage in various fields. Consequently, the Kingdom worked to harness this development in relations and other international relations to meet its national interests with the rest of the world, including the USA, and to serve the Arab and Islamic causes.

The Kingdom grabbed international attention in general and the USA in particular, driven by its Islamic, political and economic position. The Kingdom’s leading role in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and its strategic location, contribute to strengthening the bilateral relationship with the USA, maintaining the stability, security, and prosperity of the Gulf and the Middle East, and continuing consultations on many regional and global issues of importance for the two countries.

The world perceives Saudi-US relations as the main pillar to enhancing the security and economy of the region and the world, given the pivotal role that the two countries play to enhance international peace and security, based on their political, security, and economic status and their membership in the G20.

The historic Saudi-US relations have seen important milestones that are considered a basis for supporting the course of relations between the two countries, including the visit paid by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in September 2015 to the USA, at the invitation of then-President Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. The White House witnessed a session of talks between the two leaders, during which they discussed the strong relations between the two countries.

In a speech he delivered during the visit, The King stressed the strength of Saudi-American relations, describing them as historical relations.

To complement the distinguished relations between the two countries, and based on the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense, paid two official visits to the United States of America, in 2016 and 2018.

These visits played a key role in strengthening the strategic relations between Riyadh and Washington, based on the two countries’ common interests in various fields of cooperation.

Politically, the Kingdom and the United States share a compatible vision regarding the importance of deterring Iran’s destabilizing behavior toward the region’s and the world’s security and stability, and the importance of neutralizing the threat of Iran backed-terrorist militias, which makes the continuity of communication and coordination at the highest levels critical in enhancing security and stability.

The two countries believe in the importance of making the Middle East completely free of weapons of mass destruction, a vision which the two countries rely on in their quest for any nuclear agreement with Iran to ensure that it will not be able to produce a nuclear bomb, to avoid an arms race which therefore would undermine the regional and international security and stability.

On the Yemeni issue, the United States supports the Kingdom’s efforts, to reach a comprehensive political solution in Yemen that guarantees and achieves security and stability in Yemen.

The fight against extremism and terrorism is one of the most important aspects of the strategic partnership between the Kingdom and the US. The distinguished bilateral cooperation in this field has contributed to achieving many important gains in defeating terrorist organizations and neutralizing their threat to regional and international security and stability.

The fight against extremism and terrorism is one of the most important aspects of the strategic partnership between the Kingdom and the US. The distinguished bilateral cooperation in this field has contributed to achieving many important gains in defeating terrorist organizations and neutralizing their threat to regional and international security and stability.

The US has welcomed the Kingdom’s efforts to combat climate change, led by the Middle East Green initiative launched by HRH the Crown Prince, where His Royal Highness announced the launch of the first package of environmental initiatives that represent investments worth more than SR700) billion.

US President Joe Biden meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Photo: SPA)

Economically, the two countries have strong and fruitful economic ties, with about 742 American companies doing business in Saudi Arabia, in various sectors including manufacturing industries, mining and quarries, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, agriculture and fishing, construction, finance and insurance and many others sectors.

The total US invested in the Kingdom amount to SR 90.6 billion, with more than 21034 American brands available in the Saudi market until 2022

In 2021, the Kingdom’s exports to the United States amounted to SR53.5 billion. The most important national commodities exported to the US included mineral products, organic chemical products, fertilizers, Aluminum, and its products, and inorganic chemical products. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s imports from the US in 2021 amounted to SR60.5 billion. The imports included machinery, machine tools, and their parts, cars and their parts, aerial vehicles and their parts, pharmaceutical products, and medical, optical, and photographic devices.

The US is the Kingdom’s fourth trading partner in terms of trade volume, the second in the value of imports, and the sixth in the value of exports, while the Kingdom ranks 28th as a trading partner for US exports to the rest of the world, and 31st as a trading partner for US imports to the rest of the world in 2021.

The Saudi Vision 2030 programs and major projects provide promising opportunities for US companies, especially in the strategic sectors targeted by the vision, such as mining, petrochemicals, manufacturing, renewable energy, tourism, financial services, health care, and pharmaceuticals.

The Kingdom and the United States enjoy strong cultural and educational relations, as the number of Saudi students on scholarships to the United States stands at 21,035 (2022), who have been sent within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Scholarship Program, through which the number of Saudi scholarship students has exceeded half a million since its launch in 2006.

In terms of tourism, the Kingdom’s initiative to launch tourist visas by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism in 2019 has contributed to attracting US tourists wishing to explore the Kingdom and visit its historical sites and unique tourist areas. The total number of visas issued to US citizens to enter the Kingdom reached (140832) visas.

To strengthen the historical bilateral relations and the distinguished strategic partnership between the two countries, and the common desire to develop them in all fields, hence comes the current visit of President Joseph Biden of the United States of America, to the Kingdom, upon an invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, during which he will meet with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister.

The visit comes to confirm the strength and depth of the strategic relationship between the Kingdom and the US, the importance of coordination between the two countries to face common challenges at the regional and international levels, and the US administration’s keenness to strengthen the strategic partnership with the Kingdom, and an affirmation of the Kingdom’s leading role in spreading security and stability in the region.

The visit also confirms that the divergence of views between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US on some issues does not stand in the way of developing strategic relations, which contributes to bringing the two countries closer together.

It also reflects the success of the Kingdom’s foreign policies, whose rules were set by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and HRH the Crown Prince, which gave the Kingdom an important and influential role in shaping the course of regional and global events.

The visit of the US President to the Kingdom is important as it comes as part of his first visit to the Middle East, during which a Saudi-American summit and a Gulf-American summit will be held with the participation of Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan. This reflects the Kingdom’s position and its pivotal role in the security and stability of the region, and the keenness of the two sides’ leaderships to boost the joint strategic partnership.

From this standpoint, a Saudi-American summit and a Gulf-American summit will be held with the participation of Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan. To support and enhance continuous cooperation and coordination efforts between partners in light of the current regional and international developments.

The convening of this joint summit upon an invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, emphasizes the Kingdom’s pioneering role, its Arab, Islamic and international weight and standing, and its global economic value, and based on its regional and international responsibility, and its pivotal role in the security and stability of the region.

The joint summit aims to confirm the historical partnership between these countries, the importance of close cooperation and common visions regarding various issues in the region, deepening cooperation in different fields, and the importance of developing ways of cooperation and integration among the countries participating in the summit, and building joint projects that contribute to achieving sustainable development in the region, collectively addressing environmental challenges and confronting climate change, including the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative announced by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, and the development of renewable energy sources, and highlighting the electrical interconnection agreements between the GCC countries and Iraq.

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