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administrations have held that Saudi Arabia is a critical strategic partner in the region. Trump and Saudi de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince in mid-2017.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, founded in 1932, traces its roots to an alliance between the Saud family and descendants of religious cleric Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahab, who espoused conservative Sunni jurisprudence. Roosevelt recognized the oil discovery’s strategic nature.
This pact has endured for centuries, influencing the country’s domestic and foreign policy. His meeting with King Abdulaziz aboard the USS Standard Oil and the Texas Oil Company (Texaco) formed a partnership in Saudi Arabia in 1936 and together founded the Arabian American Oil Company, or Aramco, in 1944; the consortium later expanded to include what would later become Exxon and Mobil, helping Saudi Arabia become one of the world’s largest oil exporters. companies Chevron, Dow Chemical, and Exxon Mobil still have refining and petrochemical ventures in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi authorities enforce religious restrictions, denying women rights they enjoy in Western democracies, and the government promotes its interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, by funding religious schools around the world. (The United States is expected to soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the top exporter.) Saudi Arabia gradually bought out foreign shareholders, and since 1980, the company, now known as Saudi Aramco, has been wholly government owned. Saudi Arabia’s proven crude oil reserves are among the largest in the world.
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The relationship has survived severe challenges, including the 1973 oil embargo and 9/11 attacks, in which fifteen of the nineteen passenger jet hijackers were Saudi citizens. Relations between the two countries have grown especially warm under U. Both have ramped up efforts to counter Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a source of contention from early days. Congress has required that the secretary of state certify the coalition is taking sufficient action to mitigate harm to civilians to continue military support.
During the second intifada (2000–2005), Riyadh proposed the Arab Peace Initiative, under which Arab countries would normalize relations with Israel in exchange for its withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories and a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees. lawmakers have sought to block portions of arms sales and U. At a September 2018 CFR event, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir defended the intervention, saying that “this is a war that was imposed on us.” In November, as congressional pressure mounted, the Trump administration ended refueling operations for coalition aircraft, after consultation with Riyadh.
Amid the shake-up, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned to Riyadh, where he resigned under apparent pressure. lawmakers and human rights groups called on the administration to penalize Riyadh for the murder of Saudi journalist and columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate. However, President Trump dismissed proposals to cut arms sales to the kingdom and backed bin Salman’s assertions that he did not order the killing, despite the reported conclusions of the CIA. and European firms have opened or expanded operations in Saudi Arabia since it opened its stock market to foreign investors in 2015.
(He withdrew the resignation upon his return to Lebanon.) Arrests of prominent religious and political activists, including dissidents, have prompted human rights advocates to criticize the country’s leadership. “The idea that the crown prince himself and Saudi Arabia were assets to the United States was entirely aspirational. Many international fundraising “road shows” for private equity firms and hedge funds make stops in Riyadh, or at least visits with the bankers in Dubai who manage money for Saudis. Following Khashoggi’s murder, however, dozens of top business leaders and media sponsors pulled out of a major investment conference for the kingdom.