A relation based on mutual respect, common interests

A relation based on mutual respect, common interests
President Obama with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and GCC leaders at Camp David in this file photo.
Updated 14 June 2016

A relation based on mutual respect, common interests

A relation based on mutual respect, common interests

RIYADH: Relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States are based on mutual respect, cooperation and common interests.
The two sides give the relationship special status due to their history which dates back to 1931, when oil exploration and commercial production in the Kingdom began, and the late King Abdul Aziz granted the rights of exploration to an American oil company, followed by the signing of a cooperation agreement between the two countries in 1933 supporting this important economic aspect, which has become a global economic force in this day and age.
Twelve years after that agreement, King Abdul Aziz boosted bilateral relations with the United States in a historic meeting with US President Franklin Roosevelt on board the USS Quincy on Feb. 14, 1945. This meeting was considered the turning point in the transformation of the Kingdom’s relations with the US to a strategic alliance in various fields.
Afterward, the Kingdom harnessed this and other international relations to meet its national interests with the countries of the world including the US, and serve the causes of Arab and Islamic nations.
The Kingdom enjoys global interest in general, and US interest in particular, as a result of its Islamic, political and economic status, and is considered one of the pillars of strategic security in the Arab world. Its oil wealth has increased its international role in balancing the global economy over the years as a result of oil turning into a global commodity affecting the economies of many consuming countries. Its location on the shores of the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf make it unique in its geographical position in the region.
Saudi-US relations have passed through important stages which have helped boost relations between the two countries, including the visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on April 11, 2012 to the United States — when he was crown prince, deputy premier and defense minister — at the invitation of former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
During the visit, he met US President Barack Obama, and discussed with him the strengthening of relations between the two countries, especially in the joint military and strategic sphere.
On Jan. 27, 2015, President Obama, accompanied by a high-level delegation, visited the Kingdom to offer condolences on the death of King Abdullah, and during the visit held talks with King Salman on bilateral relations and the latest developments in the region.
The latest visit by President Obama to the Kingdom was on April 20, 2016. During the visit, he met with King Salman and attended the summit which was held between the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
On Sept. 3, 2015, King Salman arrived in Washington, D.C., on an official visit at the invitation of President Obama, and met at his residence in Washington with Secretary of State John Kerry.
The next day, President Obama received the king at the White House and held talks during which they reviewed the strong relations between the two countries.
On the same day, King Salman received at his residence in Washington, D.C., former US Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, separately.
King Salman attended a dinner hosted by the Saudi-US Business Council. He delivered during the event a speech in which he stressed the strength of bilateral relations, describing them as historic and strategic.
On Oct. 24, 2015, King Salman received Secretary of State John Kerry and his accompanying delegation at Auja Palace in Dir’iyya.
On Nov. 8, 2015, King Salman received Gene Dodaro, the head of the US Government Accountability Office at Yamamah Palace.
Saudi and US leaders have continued to exchange visits since 1943.
In order to bolster security and defense tie-ups between the two countries, Deputy Crown Prince and Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense Prince Mohammed bin Salman has held many meetings, on behalf of King Salman, with US officials since he became defense minister.