US Foreign Policy and Saudi Arabia

A report published by New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) focused on History (Over 70 Years of Relations). It also outlined the U.S Economic and Financial Interest in Saudi Arabia. As recent figures suggest an increase in arms trade between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the report considered the issue of Arms Export to Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia is Known for its stepped-up human rights violations, the report discussed the Saudi Crimes and the U.S Response 500 during the War on Yemen. The report also focused on the Awful Human Rights Record in Saudi Arabia.  

History (Over 70 Years of Relations)

The United States through its foreign policy established strong ties with founder policy established strong ties with founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud, and those that took over after him. And since then, The United States have maintained cordial bilateral relations with its new found partner basically through government contacts as well as its oil industry, although, not necessarily without a few skirmishes here and there.

U.S Economic and Financial Interest in Saudi Arabia

The U.S. realized how valuable the oil from the region is, and also saw opportunities for trade and investment. The United States soon set up its companies in the country for oil exploration, industrialization and even security. The relations also saw increased inflow of American goods, services as well as technologies into the country

Arms Export to Saudi Arabia

For decades, the United States has continued to supply the Saudi Arabia with weapons according to its trade and bilateral agreements. Although this has raised lot of questions in recent times, it remains unclear what direction the United States is headed regarding the issue at hand. However, recent figures suggest an increase in arms trade between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

War on Yemen –Saudi Crimes and the U.S Response 500

As the conflict raged on, Saudi Arabia were troubled by the threat of having a rogue As the conflict raged on, Saudi Arabia were troubled by the threat of having a rogue government in Yemen who are supported by Iran.  It therefore put together several other states, mostly Sunni Arab and led a bombing campaign against the rebels in a bid to restore the ousted president.

As the war ensued, powerful nations including the U.S., UK and France offered support by way of weapons, logistics and intelligence.

The Saudi Coalition setup a blockade in the country, an action they justified by accusing Tehran of supplying rebels with weapons. This blockade has however led to a situation which is fuelling major humanitarian situations as more and more people are pushed into food crisis by the day. The cost of this war is steep, and every day, the numbers in terms of casualties continue to rise.

Awful Human Rights Record in Saudi Arabia –focus

The country is notorious for its frequent execution of perceived enemies, political protesters or opponents. It is rather worrisome, that in such an era as this, a country would institute and mete out corporal punishment including lashes, amputations of wrists, hands, feet, as well as capital punishment including beheadings and hanging. The law is so flawed, it would declare a woman who is raped as guilty of sexual perverseness since she cannot “prove” her case in court, and would thus be sentenced to several lashes spanning periods of days, weeks, etc.

The report suggested some ways by which the United States can pressure Saudi Arabia to reconsider its stance on human rights

• Such countries including U.S., France, and the likes who offer assistance both militarily and otherwise must bring the Saudi’s to the table and make them see reasons why they must review their policies

• Continuous engagement and re-orientation on the rights of its citizens until such a time when they understand the fundamental nature of the issues involved

• More pressure should be exerted on the Crown Prince to initiate reforms in the judiciary of the country, and fast-track the release of all political prisoners as well as remove ben on political parties 

• Develop foreign policy strategies which would place more emphases on respect for human rights of citizens and seek for ways to make it binding on Saudi Arabia

• The UN should launch an investigation into as much cases of human rights violation as have been committed as possible, and in the end, people should be held responsible for their actions

• The international community must stand its grounds and respond to every verified case of human rights violations in accordance to international law, including the use of sanctions when necessary.

The report concluded that Saudi Arabia has not always been the favourite among countries of the world, especially due to its gross violation of human rights as well as a whole lot of atrocities it has become amerced in. Over the years, it has engaged in actions which portray it as being indifferent to the plight of its citizens, often caught up in a flagrant disregard for human rights as seen in the brutal murder and dismembering of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. based journalist.

” the problem has not been so much about the atrocities Saudi- Arabia commit, even more worrisome than that, is the perceived silence with which the world has received them. It has become pertinent to remind the world that human right is a fundamental right and therefore, the need to join forces and ensure these rights are obeyed regardless of place and laws,” the report said.


  • NYCFPA Editorial

    The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is a policy, research, and educational organization headquartered in New York State with an office in Washington D.C. NYCFPA is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, institution devoted to conducting in-depth research and analysis on every aspect of American foreign policy and its impact around the world. The organization is funded by individual donors. The organization receives no corporate or government donations.

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