quotes Proposed Saudi-US security agreement will enhance the Kingdom’s capabilities and strengthen sovereignty

12 June 2024
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Updated 11 June 2024

Proposed Saudi-US security agreement will enhance the Kingdom’s capabilities and strengthen sovereignty

Saudi Arabia is negotiating an important agreement with the Biden administration to finalize an accord for the provision of a few US security guarantees for the Kingdom. This will include a program of technical assistance to Saudi Arabia’s civilian nuclear power industry.

Yet the Saudi government is insisting that this agreement between Riyadh and Washington is not a prelude to a Saudi normalization with Israel as part of a grandiose scheme to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy works to advance the causes and concerns of all Arabs and Muslims. This agreement indicates that Saudi Arabia can articulate a strong national interest to ensure its safety and prosperity. The Kingdom does not bargain with any other country over its ultimate goals.

Saudi Arabia has well-defined principles that affirm its national interests. Therefore, Saudi Arabia strengthens its sovereignty and the duty of its government to protect its people by developing its national nuclear program and getting the US on its side to take the necessary measures to prevent conflict and strife in the Gulf area in particular and in the Middle East region in general.

The current agreement, still to be completed, is the culmination of previous negotiations that the Kingdom has engaged in with several American administrations, whether Republican or Democrat. The Agreement for Technical Cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia, signed in Jeddah on May 8, 2023, was the most recent agreement between the two nations to enhance their security cooperation.

The very first security accord between Saudi Arabia and the US was signed in the year 2008 to assist Saudi Arabia in channeling its efforts to protect the critical infrastructure base it has, and to safeguard the Saudi public from terrorist threats and attacks. Ever since that date, the content of subsequent security agreements between Saudi Arabia and America has been adapting many changes and modifications to counter the growing threats to which the Kingdom has been subjected. The initial success of that program is witnessed by the high-quality training many Saudi security and defense personnel have received to help them address the security requirements in the diverse and sophisticated 21st-century Saudi state and economy.

The overwhelming asset of Saudi Arabia’s grand strategy is its power to act and implement good policies in world politics faithfully and effectively.

The new security agreement when it is fully agreed upon and sanctioned is also an extension of previous security relations between Saudi Arabia and the US. Saudi Arabia is the US's biggest foreign military sales market, with a figure exceeding $100 billion in active FMS deals. Moreover, bilateral trade and economic ties have reached an unprecedented high.

The US is Saudi Arabia’s second-largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is one of the US’s biggest trading partners in the Middle East. The Kingdom is the third source of imported oil for the US. America imports about half a million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia. This economic cooperation has been in place for over 20 years. In 2003, the US signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Saudi Arabia. TIFA serves as an umbrella agreement for ongoing structured dialogue between the US government and other international partners on economic reform and trade liberalization, aligning with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia’s unique role and distinguished status in the Arab and Islamic worlds contribute to the security and stability of all the world’s countries. Many terrorist networks target the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia has the right to defend itself. All the security agreements that the Saudi government has signed safeguard life and the societies of so many nations. Hence, additional cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the US solicits institutional arrangements between the two nations to promote global and regional peace. Continuously, Washington and Riyadh have had frequent consultations over a wide range of political and diplomatic topics.

Regrettably, the Biden administration tried to ignore the vital and pivotal role of the Kingdom, but it failed miserably to isolate Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia dictated its own political will on Washington. Immediately, Washington’s political establishment recognized their mistake — that it is impossible to negate the critical importance of Saudi Arabia.  

The premise of this special agreement is peace in the Middle East. In this regard, Saudi Arabia has a strategy linking and analyzing all the major elements of regional conflict and cooperation. This includes how to help the Palestinians and protect them, and it strives to establish a fully sovereign Palestinian state. This agreement will pressure America to stop the war in Gaza.

Generally speaking, the Saudi people have faith in how their government initiates international cooperation. They applaud how the leadership of Saudi Arabia prioritizes policies that require engaging with global partners, and at the same time pursues the collaboration of all the countries in the world to give justice to the Palestinians. The overwhelming asset of Saudi Arabia’s grand strategy is its power to act and implement good policies in world politics faithfully and effectively.

Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst. X: @Mr_Alshammeri