GeographyIQ.comGeographyIQ.com
  Home
  Rankings


A B C D E F
G H I J K L
M N O P Q R
S T U V W Y
Z          


Currency Converter

 


World > Middle East > Saudi Arabia > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Saudi Arabia - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-SAUDI ARABIAN RELATIONS
Saudi Arabias unique role in the Arab and Islamic worlds, its possession of the worlds largest reserves of oil, and its strategic location make its friendship important to the United States. Diplomatic relations were established in 1933; the U.S. embassy opened in Jeddah in 1944 and moved to Riyadh in 1984. The Jeddah embassy became a U.S. consulate. Meanwhile, a U.S. consulate opened in Dhahran in 1944.

The United States and Saudi Arabia share a common concern about regional security, oil exports and imports, and sustainable development. Close consultations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have developed on international, economic, and development issues such as the Middle East peace process and shared interests in the Gulf. The continued availability of reliable sources of oil, particularly from Saudi Arabia, remains important to the prosperity of the United States as well as to Europe and Japan. Saudi Arabia is one of the leading sources of imported oil for the United States, providing more than one million barrels/day of oil to the U.S. The U.S. is Saudi Arabias largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is the largest U.S. export market in the Middle East.

In addition to economic ties, a longstanding security relationship continues to be important in U.S.-Saudi relations. A U.S. military training mission established at Dhahran in 1953 provides training and support in the use of weapons and other security-related services to the Saudi armed forces. The United States has sold Saudi Arabia military aircraft (F-15s, AWACS, and UH-60 Blackhawks), air defense weaponry (Patriot and Hawk missiles), armored vehicles (M1A2 Abrams tanks and M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles), and other equipment. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has had a long-term role in military and civilian construction activities in the Kingdom.

The Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrated U.S.-Saudi cooperation in the areas of cultural accommodation, as well as in military operations. For example, the U.S. military issued general orders prohibiting the consumption of alcohol and setting guidelines for off-duty behavior and attire. Saudi Arabia accommodated U.S. culture and its military procedures by allowing U.S. servicewomen to serve in their varied roles throughout the kingdom--a major step for a highly patriarchal society. In August 2003, following the U.S.-led war in Iraq in March and April 2003, the United States withdrew its troops stationed in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabias relations with the United States were strained after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in which 15 of the suicide bombers were Saudi citizens. On May 12, 2003 suicide bombers killed 35 people, including nine Americans, in attacks at three housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh. On November 8, 2003 terrorists attacked another compound housing foreign workers from mainly Arab countries. At least 18 people, including 5 children died in this attack, and more than 100 were injured.

On May 1, 2004 terrorists killed two Americans in the Yanbu oil facility in the western part of the country. On May 29, 2004 terrorists killed one American and wounded several others in attacks on an official building and housing compound in al-Khobar in the Eastern Province. On June 6, terrorists shot and killed a BBC journalist. On June 9 and June 12, 2004 terrorists killed Americans Robert Jacobs and Kenneth Scroggs. On June 18, 2004 terrorists kidnapped and beheaded American Paul Johnson. On December 6, 2004 terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, killing five consulate employees. Terrorists also targeted and killed other foreign nationalities during this time. In February 2007, four French nationals were killed in western Saudi Arabia in a suspected terrorist attack.

Currently, Saudi Arabia is an important partner in the campaign against terrorism, providing assistance in the military, diplomatic, and financial arenas. Counterterrorism cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States increased significantly after the May 12, 2003 bombings in Riyadh and continues today. In February 2005, the Saudi government sponsored the first ever Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh.

Human Rights
Despite close cooperation on security issues, the United States remains concerned about human rights conditions in Saudi Arabia. Principal human rights problems include abuse of prisoners and incommunicado detention; prohibitions or severe restrictions on the freedoms of speech, press, peaceful assembly and association, and religion; denial of the right of citizens to change their government; systematic discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities; and suppression of workers rights.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Ford Fraker
Deputy Chief of Mission--Michael Gfoeller
Counselor for Consular Affairs--Kathleen Riley
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Robert Murphy
Counselor for Political Affair--David Rundell
Counselor for Political-Military Affairs--Clarence Hudson
Counselor for Public Affairs--Walter Douglas
Consul General, Dhahran--John Kincannon
Consul General, Jeddah--Tatiana Gfoeller

The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia is located in the Diplomatic Quarter of Riyadh (tel. 966-1-488-3800). The Consulate General in Jeddah is located on Palestine Road, Ruwais, Jeddah (tel. 966-2-667-0080); and the Consulate General in Dhahran is located between ARAMCO Headquarters and the King Abdul Aziz Airbase (tel. 966-3-330-3200). The embassy and consulates are open for business Saturday through Wednesday, in accordance with the official workweek of Saudi Arabia.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





   Privacy Policy

   Portions of this site are based on public domain works from the U.S. Dept. of State and the CIA World Fact Book
   All original material copyright © 2002 - GeographyIQ.com. All Rights Reserved.
   For comments and feedback, write to us at info@GeographyIQ.com.