Friday, June 2, 2023

US-Saudi relations

by Hideo Nakamura
US-Saudi relations

US-Saudi Relations

US-Saudi relations are a complex relationship that has gone through numerous changes since the two states first established diplomatic ties in 1933. The United States and Saudi Arabia have long been major trade partners, with both countries engaging in substantial amounts of economic activity together. However, they also differ sharply on many political issues, such as human rights and regional conflicts. In recent years, the US-Saudi relationship has become increasingly fraught with tension due to various factors including differing views on Iran’s role in the region and Washington’s stance toward Riyadh following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Historical Background
The modern state of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by King Abdulaziz Al Saud after he unified much of what is now known as the Arabian Peninsula under his rule. Soon afterwards, President Franklin D Roosevelt extended formal recognition to this new nation and thus began an era of close cooperation between these two strategically important allies. Throughout World War II and beyond, American support for Saudi Arabia remained strong; however it began to waver during the Cold War when Soviet influence threatened to take root in the Middle East region at large. In response to this perceived threat from Moscow, Washington increased its military presence within Saudi borders while providing arms shipments intended for use against potential adversaries like Iraq or Syria should conflict arise between them and Riyadh. This alliance became even closer following September 11th attacks when then US president George W Bush declared a “war on terror” which included taking action against regimes believed to sponsor terrorism such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or Assad’s Syria – both seen by Saudis as dangerous neighbors threatening their security interests within Levant area (modern day Israel/Lebanon). Consequently, over time US-Saudi relations have grown more intertwined than ever before despite ongoing disagreements regarding certain policies like those related human rights violations being committed inside country itself (e.g., gender inequality laws).

Recent Developments & Tensions

In recent years there have been several key developments that have shaped current relationships between United States government officials and members Royal Family ruling kingdom: Firstly – increased tensions surrounding Iran nuclear deal signed 2015 which saw Obama administration side heavily favor Tehran while Saudis viewed agreement suspiciously feeling it could embolden Shia Muslim power bloc led by Iranian Ayatollahs who were already actively engaged proxy wars throughout region (Yemen civil war etc.). Secondly – deteriorating situation Yemen caused massive humanitarian crisis left largely unchecked due international community’s inaction but also Washington/Riyadh differences over how best handle matter – Americans preferring diplomatic solution opposed any direct intervention whereas Saudis wanted stronger measures taken against Houthi militias thought be backed directly by Iranians themselves . Finally – assassination journalist Jamal Khashoggi October 2018 Istanbul Turkey resulted substantial decline trust levels between leaders two nations given Trump White House unwillingness condemn actions strongly enough satisfy critics outside country demanding accountability perpetrators act brutality committed Turkish soil without impunity granted individuals responsible deed according some reports connected highest echelons monarchy itself though no concrete evidence yet emerged proving culpability either way…

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