8 decades on, Saudi-US ties growing stronger

8 decades on, Saudi-US ties growing stronger
Updated 20 April 2016

8 decades on, Saudi-US ties growing stronger

8 decades on, Saudi-US ties growing stronger

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the United States have shared cordial partnership for more than eight decades now, which essentially makes the relations special. The two friendly countries are working to further enhance cooperation on issues of mutual interest despite changing dynamics in the international politics.
President Barack Obama’s visit to Riyadh, where he is scheduled to meet Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Riyadh on Wednesday, will be another boost to the relations.
The US President is also scheduled to meet other Gulf leaders during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit on Thursday. The discussions are likely to focus on regional security, terrorism and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
Notably, the Kingdom shares a friendly relation with the US since 1933, when full diplomatic relations were established. Like many other key partners, the two friendly countries too have seen ups and downs in recent years on certain policies on issues concerning the Middle East.
However, the all-weather friendship between the Kingdom and the US stood the test of time and moved ahead, which is why it can be described as “Special Relationship.”
Riyadh and Washington maintain the much-needed political, security and economic balance in the GCC and its extended neighborhood.
The foundation for this special bonding was laid during the meeting between King Abdul Aziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia and the then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on-board the American warship, USS Quincy, in Feb. 1945.
The bilateral relations scaled new heights during the Gulf War with the then US President George Bush coming to the rescue and supporting Kuwait.
The relations reached their peak as King Abdullah visited the US thrice in 2002, 2005 and 2008 and it was reciprocated by President George W. Bush, who made two quick visits to the Kingdom in 2008, which was for the first time a US president visited a foreign country twice in less than four months.
The relations got a big boost when King Salman made his maiden visit to the US in September last year at the invitation of Obama.
History suggests that the Saudi-US relations have weathered many storms, including differences on some regional and global conflicts. There are certain grey areas in the smooth bilateral progress such as Riyadh and Washington having different perspectives on Iran’s nuclear deal and Syria’s ongoing civil war, in which Iran’s hegemonic aims have come to the fore.
The Saudi-US relations also suffered a setback after the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, pushing the country into the Iranian swamp.
However, respecting the security sentiments and striving for peaceful co-existence, traditional ally Washington subsequently sought to allay the concerns of its special allies over the nuclear deal the US and other world powers reached with Tehran.
Obama’s meeting with the six-nation GCC leaders on Thursday is expected to discuss these issues with focus on Syria, security concerns and counter-terrorism strategies.
Significantly, Obama will be accompanied by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who would meet his counterparts from the GCC countries.
The Saudi-US relations are historic and the first US citizens to travel to the Kingdom were Christian missionary doctors who won the goodwill of King Abdul Aziz as they treated him for an illness.
Following that life-saving treatment, King Abdul Aziz said in Riyadh on Jan 10, 1937: “I love your country and admire your president (Franklin. D. Roosevelt), and am very grateful for the services the members of your mission have rendered to me and my people.”
Another important aspect of the special relation was the renaming of California Arabian Standard Oil Company as Arab American Company (ARAMCO), which started oil exploration in May 1933.


Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 04 March 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 4 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 369,613
  • A total of 6,514 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced four deaths from COVID-19 and 375 new infections on Thursday.
Of the new cases, 162 were recorded in Riyadh, 66 in Makkah, 61 in the Eastern Province, 24 in the Northern Borders region, 14 in Madinah, 11 in Asir, six in Hail, two in Najran and two in Jazan.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 369,613 after 336 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,514 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.


Arab coalition intercepts Houthi ballistic missile targeting Jazan

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi ballistic missile targeting Jazan
Updated 04 March 2021

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi ballistic missile targeting Jazan

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi ballistic missile targeting Jazan
  • The coalition is taking all precautions to protect civilians as the Houthi militia continue targeting them

DUBAI: The Arab coalition has intercepted a Houthi ballistic missile targeting Jazan in southwest Saudi Arabia, state TV Al-Ekhbariya reported.
The coalition is taking all precautions to protect civilian as the Houthi militia continue targeting them, the report added.
On Wednesday, the Arab coalition said it intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward southern Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“Joint coalition forces managed to intercept and destroy a booby-trapped drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in a systematic and deliberate manner to target civilians and civilian objects in the city of Khamis Mushait,” spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.


Saudi aid agency continues projects in Yemen, Jordan

Saudi aid agency continues projects in Yemen, Jordan
Updated 04 March 2021

Saudi aid agency continues projects in Yemen, Jordan

Saudi aid agency continues projects in Yemen, Jordan

AL-MAHRA: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) launched the second phase of the winter clothes project in Yemen’s Al-Mahrah governorate on Wednesday. The aid, which included winter clothing, has benefited 700 people so far.
Local Council Secretary-General Abdullah Neimer praised the role of Saudi Arabia represented by KSrelief for its efforts and interventions in various sectors.
In Yemen also, KSrelief distributed more than 76,184 tons of foodstuffs for those in need in the rural areas of Hadibu, the capital of the Socotra archipelago province.
Meanwhile in Jordan, KSrelief clinics continued providing medical services in the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees. More than 400 patients with various conditions were provided with medical services and prescriptions at different clinics.


DiplomaticQuarter: British Embassy in Riyadh announces finalists for Study UK Alumni Awards

DiplomaticQuarter: British Embassy in Riyadh announces finalists for Study UK Alumni Awards
Updated 04 March 2021

DiplomaticQuarter: British Embassy in Riyadh announces finalists for Study UK Alumni Awards

DiplomaticQuarter: British Embassy in Riyadh announces finalists for Study UK Alumni Awards

The British Embassy and British Council in Saudi Arabia have announced the nine finalists for the “Study UK Alumni Awards 2021 in Saudi Arabia.”
The finalists were selected from about 1,300 applicants for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders, and for their contributions to strengthening collaborative ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia, a statement by the embassy said.
The three award winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by the British ambassador later this year.
The Study UK Alumni Awards were established in 2014 and celebrate the achievements of those who graduated from UK-based higher education institutions and went on to make outstanding contributions in various fields.
Neil Crompton, British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “I am delighted to announce the finalists for the Study UK Alumni Awards 2021. This award celebrates the achievements of outstanding Saudi women and men who studied in the UK and are using their education to make a positive impact. As strategic partners for Vision 2030, we are proud of their achievements and contribution to their country. My congratulations to all our finalists and I look forward to meeting them at the award ceremony.”
Eilidh Kennedy McLean, British Council country director said: “The Study UK Alumni Awards provide a platform for recognizing and celebrating the success of Saudi alumni of UK universities. Their achievements are wide-ranging and inspirational, and directly contribute to the Vision 2030 goals and aspirations. The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its seventh year, international UK alumni applied from over 100 countries, representing almost 150 UK higher education institutions across the UK.”
The finalists of the “Professional Achievement Award,” which recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership in their professional field, are: Dr. Taghred Al-Ghaith, Dr. Roua Al-Subki, and Dr. Mohammed Al-Shammari.
The finalists of the “Social Impact Award,” which acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution to creating positive social change, are: Mashni Al-Saeed, Abdulmohsen Al-Dayel, and Dr. Bandar Al-Osaimi.
The finalists of the “Entrepreneurial Award,” which highlights alumni who have played a leading role in innovation, are: Dr. Wail Mousa, Arwa Al-Ammari, and Hattan Ahmed.
The Study UK Awards ceremonies are held in 13 countries including the US, China, Pakistan and Egypt.
 


Muslim World League chief thanks Sri Lankan government for ending cremation of COVID-19 victims

Muslim World League chief thanks Sri Lankan government for ending cremation of COVID-19 victims
Updated 04 March 2021

Muslim World League chief thanks Sri Lankan government for ending cremation of COVID-19 victims

Muslim World League chief thanks Sri Lankan government for ending cremation of COVID-19 victims

RIYADH: The Sri Lankan government has agreed to the request of the Muslim World League (MWL) — in accordance with Islamic procedures — to stop cremating the bodies of Muslims who have died of COVID-19.
The news came in a phone call to Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, MWL secretary-general, from Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dinesh Gunawardena.
During the call, Gunawardena told Al-Issa that the Sri Lankan government had agreed to the MWL’s request. Gunawardena said that this served to strengthen the close relationship between the MWL, which is a global reference for Muslim nations, and the Sri Lankan government.
Al-Issa thanked Sri Lanka for approving the MWL’s request to stop the cremation of the bodies of Muslims and instead allow their burial.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also welcomed the Sri Lankan government’s decision.
The OIC said that it had on several occasions during the pandemic called on Sri Lankan authorities to refrain from cremating Muslims and to give them an Islamic burial.
 

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world
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