When His Majesty the Late King Abdulaziz succeeded in consolidating his rule in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the basis of Islamic Sharia, he started building good reputation and international relations for His kingdom.
He sent representatives and received delegations from different countries and signed agreements with them. He contributed to the establishment of several international organizations such as, United Nations and the Arab League.
His Majesty King Abdulaziz built the guidance for Kingdom’s international relations on the basis of Islamic Sharia, mutual respect, non-interference in the national affairs of other countries, living peacefully with neighboring countries, avoiding violence and sticking to peace talks to solve international conflicts on the basis of international rules, regulations, international and bilateral agreements based on the fact that diplomacy is the main factor in the foreign affairs of the Kingdom.
In 1926, King Abdulaziz established General Directory for the Foreign Affairs. Four years later, a royal decree was issued to change its name to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in addition to the appointment of his Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bin Abdulaziz as a Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was the first ministry that was announced in the government.
The total number of staff of MOFA at that time did not exceed 15 persons. Its structure consisted of the Minister, Deputy Minister, three assistants, two secretaries, chief staff, accountant and six clerks. The Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign affairs progressed very fast during the tenure of King Abdulaziz himself.
The number of foreign Consulates and missions had increased from nine to Twenty-Nine by 1951.
Upon the establishment of the General Directorate of Foreign Affairs, there were no diplomatic missions abroad. In 1936, the number of Saudi Diplomatic Missions Abroad increased to five (Three missions in London, Baghdad, and Cairo in addition to Two Consulates in Switzerland and Damascus). In 1951, the number of diplomatic missions increased to 18 in 16 countries.
Furthermore, all missions were promoted to embassies. The Kingdom expanded its diplomatic representation especially after the Second World War.
The Kingdom promoted its diplomatic missions to embassies in different countries on the same basis established by His Majesty King Abdulaziz. King Saud followed the same principles. King Faisal continued as Minister of Foreign Affairs until 1960.
At that time his Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Al-Suwaid was appointed as a Minister of Foreign Affairs as the second minister after Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz who became the King of Saudi Arabia.
His Majesty King Faisal again took charge of the ministry in 1962 until he passed away in 1975. When Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz became the king, he followed the same principles of his predecessor King Faisal.
King Khalid appointed Prince Saud Alfaisal as a State Minister and then Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1395 A.H. The diplomatic relations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expanded during the tenure of the Custodian of the Two Holly Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz.
This was reflected in the increase in the number of Saudi Embassies and Missions abroad. At the same time, the number of foreign missions and embassies increased in the Kingdom. The total number of embassies reached 102 with 18 Consulates, 5 resident delegations, and 1 commercial office.
The number of Foreign missions reached 157, 98 embassies in Riyadh, and 59 Consulates in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran.
This expansion in the International relations was in line with the development of MOFA and its diplomatic missions abroad. This includes the re-structuring of the organization and administrative team in order to enable them to fulfill their duties accordingly.