Saudi-US relations key to global stability, says Princess Reema on 75th anniversary of USS Quincy meeting

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Updated 14 February 2020

Saudi-US relations key to global stability, says Princess Reema on 75th anniversary of USS Quincy meeting

When Saudi Arabia's King Abdul Aziz and US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met on February 14, 1945 aboard the USS Quincy in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake, no one probably had a faint idea whether they would actually get along well. After all, they seemed not to have much in common. The meeting was just a side trip for Roosevelt, whose main purpose was to meet with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Yalta in the Crimea to discuss the postwar reorganization of Germany and Europe.

As it would turn out, the first and only meeting between Ibn Saud and Roosevelt had become a defining moment in world history.

"King Abdul Aziz and President Roosevelt both understood that what was at stake was far more than just the immediate recovery of post-war Europe and Germany," writes Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington in an opinion article enumerating the bonds that tie the two great nations together.

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud's article is part of today's special supplement in Arab News in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of that historic meeting.

Opinion

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"These two leaders saw this as the time for new alliances and partnerships that would expand existing bilateral relationships, forge new economic ties and create new international institutions that would be essential for global peace and security.

"Both leaders recognized that establishing a sustained and lasting global stability would require new international bonds — and that if the US and Saudi Arabia were to help develop this new approach to global, collective security — both leaders and both nations would need to look beyond their own provincial interests," the ambassador writes.

Arab News also sat with Roosevelt's grandson Hall Delano Roosevelt, who has devoted a significant part of his career to promoting US-Saudi partnerships, to share his reflections on that historic meeting. 

“It was about creating a relationship and a friendship with this new King, who had just spent quite some time, and resources, and blood, and effort to unite the Arabian Peninsula for the purpose of being a productive part of the world,” he says.

For US Ambassador John Abizaid, since that meeting between Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch and the US president, Washington has been a steady strategic partner of Riyadh, notwithstanding the up and downs in the relationship.

Columnist Oubai Shahbandar, a former Middle East Pentagon analyst, writes that the two nations have managed to overcome a number of obstacles in their bilateral relations over the years because "it is a relationship that has been anchored on common security interests and personal bonds between leaders."

Arab News writer and columnist Frank Kane writes that "Saudi Aramco has been at the heart of the 75-year-old partnership between the US and the Kingdom."


Saudi Arabia wants an end to arms race in region

King Salman chairs the weekly Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 3 min 32 sec ago

Saudi Arabia wants an end to arms race in region

  • Kingdom’s plans to develop Jafurah gas field lauded

RIYADH: The Cabinet on Tuesday reiterated its stance to support international efforts for regional disarmament and expressed its concern over the Iranian role that is detrimental to the peace and stability of the Middle East.
The meeting, chaired by King Salman, expressed its concern over Tehran’s announcement of downgrading its commitment to the 2015 nuclear agreement and an escalation of threats from terrorist armed militias supported by the Iranian regime.
The ministers also discussed a UN project, funded by Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation, to curb terrorism, organized crime and illicit weapons trade in Central Asia. The program, which will be implemented in 2020-21, seeks to establish preventive mechanisms to make the world a safer place.
The Cabinet also lauded plans to develop the Jafurah gas field, which will be developed with a $110 billion investment.
The ministers stressed the Kingdom’s commitment to diversifying its economy, benefiting from its resources and bolstering its pioneering position in the global energy market.
The Jafurah field — which lies southeast of Ghawar, the world’s largest conventional oil field — holds an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of wet gas, and is capable of producing 130,000 barrels per day of ethane and 500,000 barrels per day of gas liquids and condensates.

HIGHLIGHTS

• A UN project to curb terrorism, organized crime and illicit weapons trade in Central Asia was discussed.

• Saudi Arabia vows to use all available policy tools to achieve sustainable growth.

• A new system of ownership and management of real estate units approved.

Over 22 years, Jafurah could generate $8.6 billion a year in income and contribute $20 billion a year to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product.
The development of the Jafurah field will have ramifications not just for Saudi Arabia and its drive toward a cleaner energy mix, but also for the global gas market.
The Cabinet was also briefed about King Salman’s talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that took place in Riyadh last week. The talks tackled regional and international developments.
The ministers also reviewed the outcome of the first meeting of the finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the Group of 20 (G20) countries. The Cabinet reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to using all available policy tools to achieve sustainable growth.
The ministers also approved a new system of ownership and management of real estate units.