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Saudi Arabia: Current Issues and U.S. Relations

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Congressional rept.

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Saudi Arabia, a monarchy ruled by the Saud dynasty, enjoys special importance in much of the international community because of its unique association with the Islamic religion and its oil wealth. The United States and Saudi Arabia have longstanding economic and defense ties. A series of informal agreements, statements by successive U.S. administrations, and military deployments have demonstrated a strong U.S. security commitment to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was a key member of the allied coalition that expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991, and it subsequently hosted U.S. aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. However, Saudi officials expressed opposition to the U.S.-led military campaign launched against Iraq in March 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom, although they reportedly permitted certain support operations by U.S. and British military forces. By mutual agreement, the United States withdrew virtually all its forces from Saudi Arabia at the end of August 2003. Bombing attacks against several U.S.- and foreign-operated installations in Saudi Arabia have raised some concerns about the security of U.S. citizens there and what appears to be growing anti-Americanism in some segments of the Saudi population. Since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, some commentators have maintained that Saudi domestic and foreign policies have created a climate that may have contributed to terrorist acts by Islamic radicals. On June 9, 2006, the House adopted H.Amdt. 997 to H.R. 5522 Foreign Operations Appropriations, FY2007 by 312-97 Roll no. 244 this amendment Section 589 of the House version of H.R. 5522 prohibits U.S. assistance to Saudi Arabia and contained no Presidential waiver provision. The FY2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act P.L. 109-102 contained an identical ban but provided waiver authority to the President. This CRS report replaces CRS Issue Brief IB93113, Saudi Arabia Current Issues and U.S. Relations.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Humanities and History

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