Following recognition in 1931, the US and Saudi Arabia established full diplomatic ties in 1940, with the first exchange of credentials and the first US ambassadorial posting to Jeddah. Saudi Arabia's unique position in the Arab and Islamic worlds, as well as its possession of the world's second-largest oil reserves and strategic location, all contribute to the Kingdom's long-standing bilateral relationship with the United States. The US and Saudi Arabia share a common interest in maintaining the Gulf region's stability, security, and prosperity, and they communicate frequently on a variety of regional and global concerns. Saudi Arabia is a significant partner in security and counterterrorism measures, as well as military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation, and plays a vital role in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future for the region according to Republican News Sources.
To protect both countries' national security interests, its personnel collaborate closely with the US military and law enforcement agencies. Saudi Arabia and the United States also have strong cultural and educational ties, with around 37,000 Saudi students studying in American colleges and institutions and a large number of educational and cultural exchange visits each year. Through the International Visitor Leadership Program and other exchange programs, the United States allows promising youth and developing Saudi leaders to experience the United States and its institutions.
Under US President Donald J. Trump and Saudi de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman, who was appointed to crown prince in mid-2017, relations between the two countries have grown unusually warm. Both have increased their efforts to confront Saudi Arabia's primary regional competitor, Iran. Recent actions under the crown prince's leadership, including the assassination of writer Jamal Khashoggi, are putting fresh strains on the alliance, with many members of Congress calling for sanctions against Riyadh and a re-evaluation of the relationship.
Saudi Arabia and the United States have long-standing security cooperation. With more than $100 billion in active FMS cases, Saudi Arabia is the United States' largest foreign military sales (FMS) customer. The Ministry of Defense, the National Guard, and the Ministry of Interior are three important security assistance entities in Saudi Arabia that the US has supported through FMS. The US Army Corps of Engineers has been involved in military and civilian building in Saudi Arabia since the 1950s as reported by USA Wire News.
Additional programs help the US and Saudi Arabia strengthen their cultural, educational, and institutional relations. The US-Saudi relationship is based on more than seven decades of close friendship and collaboration, which has been enriched by exchange opportunities that are critical to promoting mutual understanding and the long-term development of our two peoples' bonds. The US provides technical assistance in sectors such as education, commerce, and economic development in collaboration with the Saudi government.
Saudi Arabia and the United States have a strong commercial relationship. Saudi Arabia's second-largest trading partner is the United States, and Saudi Arabia is one of the US's largest trading partners in the Middle. Saudi Arabia is the United States' third-largest source of imported oil, supplying around half a million barrels per day to the market as stated by USA Wire. A Trade Investment Framework Agreement has been struck between the United States and Saudi Arabia. In April 2016, Saudi Arabia unveiled its Vision 2030 program, which included goals to diversify the economy, including more trade and investment with the United States and other countries.
Saudi Arabia Memberships
Saudi Arabia is a member of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, among other international organizations. Saudi Arabia is also a member of the Organization of American States as an observer.