Accession Number:

ADA595628

Title:

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-02-12

Pagination or Media Count:

15.0

Abstract:

In spite of apparent differences of opinion over regional developments, U.S.-Saudi security cooperation continues to anchor official bilateral relations as it has for decades, bolstered by major new arms sales, continued security training arrangements, enhanced counterterrorism cooperation, and shared concerns about Iran and Al Qaeda. Since late 2012, the Administration has notified Congress of over 20 billion in proposed arms sales to the kingdom, including proposed sales that would continue long-established training programs and deliver advanced stand-off air weaponry to equip Saudi-purchased U.S.-fighter aircraft. The Obama Administration, like its predecessors, has engaged the Saudi government as a strategic partner to promote regional security and global economic stability. Current U.S. policy initiatives seek to help Saudi leaders, under the leadership of King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz, address economic and security challenges. It remains to be seen whether these U.S. initiatives and Saudi leaders own choices will enable the kingdom to meet the energy consumption, education, employment, and security needs that its citizens face. The kingdoms considerable financial clout and its deepening energy ties to important U.S. trading partners in Asia are important factors for U.S. and Saudi decision makers to consider when assessing the future of the bilateral relationship. Significant shifts in the political and economic landscape of the Middle East also have focused greater international attention on Saudi domestic policy issues and reinvigorated social and political debates among Saudis. These shifts may make sensitive issues such as political reform, unemployment, education, human rights, corruption, religious freedom, and extremism more important to U.S.-Saudi relations than in the past.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE