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Eight Decades of Cooperation Pivotal Moments in the Saudi-U.S. Relationship

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States has proved ironclad for the past eight decades. From close coordination on counterterrorism and military operations to economic exchange and investment, the two countries have forged strong ties across all major sectors. Today, this critical relationship is only broadening and deepening.  
King Abdulaziz meets President Roosevelt on the Quincy – The Suez Canal: Following the Yalta conference, President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz Al Saud met for the first time aboard the U.S. Quincy on February 14th, 1945. This meeting was the beginning of the long partnerships between the two nations.
President Roosevelt gifts plane to KSA leading to Establishment of Saudia Airlines: To mark the new friendship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, the two leaders exchanged gifts. FDR gifted a DC-3 passenger plane to King Abdulaziz. FDR sent two more planes in the following months, which led to the establishment of the Kingdom's national Airlines, Saudia Airlines.  
Singing of Agreement to Build the Dhahran Airbase: The agreement to build the Dharan Air Base initially included a 3 year lease-period which was renewed in 1949 and later led to the development of the civil air terminal project (completed in 1955), later named the Dhahran International Airport.
Mutual Defense Agreement Signed: The United States and Saudi Arabia signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement. 
King Saud meets with President Eisenhower (Reagan National Airport, DC): King Saud bin Abdulaziz’s trip to the United States was the first visit by a ruling Saudi king. During three meetings with President Eisenhower, King Saud discussed the importance of finding lasting solutions to several issues in the Middle East within the framework provided by the United Nations. The most important outcome of that visit was the U.S. commitment to strengthening the Saudi Armed Forces.
Dharan Civil Terminal built by Minoru Yamasaki: Architect Minoru Yamasaki, one of the most prominent American Architects of the 20th Century, was contracted to design the Civil Aviation Terminal.
King Saud meets JFK in Florida Courtesy Call to King Saud After a Surgery: King Saud bin Abdulaziz and President Kennedy met at the King’s residence in Palm Beach, Florida. The King was recovering from a surgery, and President Kennedy wished him a speedy recovery, and they discussed the friendly relations between the two countries. 
King Faisal bin Abdulaziz met with President Lyndon Johnson during a Formal State visit to the United States. 
King Faisal meets President Nixon – The White House, Washington, D.C.: During his visit to the United States in 1971, King Faisal bin Abdulaziz was welcomed at the White House by President Richard Nixon. The meeting took place as tensions in the Middle East were simmering following Israel’s decision to fortify positions in the Suez Canal.
Establishment of US-KSA joint Economic Commission – Blair House, Washington, D.C.: Then Crown Prince Fahad bin Abdulaziz met with Secretary of State Henry Kessinger, where they signed an economic deal between the two countries. During this meeting, they established the U.S.-KSA Joint Economic Commission. The Commission focused on industrialization, education, technology, and agriculture development.  
President Nixon Visits the Kingdom to Holds the First Meeting of US-KSA Joint Economic Commission – Jeddah, KSA: King Faisal bin Abdulaziz welcomed President Nixon during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 1974. The two leaders discussed bilateral and regional affairs and President Nixon confirmed the importance of the Saudi American relations.
President Carter Meets with King Khaled during his visit to Riyadh in January 1978
King Khaled Meets with President Carter – The White House, Washington, D.C.: King Khalid bin Abdulaziz visited the United States in 1978, where he met with President Carter at the White House. During the visit, President Carter explained the status and details of the Camp David Accords, and the efforts for peace in the Middle East.
Vice President Bush Met with King Fahad – Riyadh, KSA: Vice President Bush traveled the Kingdom to his present condolences on death of King Khaled.
King Fahad and President Reagan in Washington, D.C.: King Fahd bin Abdulaziz met with President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1985. They discussed the bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East. 
King Fahad Meets with President George H.W. Bush – Jeddah, KSA: in 1990, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz held talks with President George H.W. Bush. They discussed the Iraqi aggression against Kuwait. At the time of their meeting thousands of American troops and allied troops were preparing for the liberation of Kuwait.
Establishment of the U.S. Saudi Arabian Business Council: The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council was established as a non-profit organization in 1993 as a spin-off of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Joint Economic Commission.
President Clinton Met with King Fahad – Jeddah, KSA: King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz met with President Bill Clinton in Jeddah. Bilateral relations and modernization of the Saudi commercial jets and modernization of the Saudi telecommunications system were discussed during the visit
Crown Prince Abdullah Met with President George W. Bush: While King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was Crown Prince in 2002, he visited Washington and met with President George W. Bush. After the events of 9/11, the two countries confirmed the importance of fighting terrorism and Saudi-U.S. cooperation.
Establishment of Saudi-U.S. Strategic Dialogue: The Saudi-U.S. Strategic Dialogue was established by President George Bush and the late King Abdullah at their summit meeting in Crawford, TX.  The dialogue focused on cooperation in counterterrorism, military affairs, energy, economic and financial affairs, Consular Affairs, and education, and human development.
First formal meeting for Saudi-U.S. Strategic Dialogue: The inaugural meeting of the Dialogue was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister HRH Prince Saud AlFaisal. The dialogue focused on cooperation in counterterrorism, military affairs, energy, economic and financial affairs, Consular Affairs, and education, and human development.
King Abdullah Scholarship Program: In 2005, the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud responded to concerns for the sustainable development of human resources in Saudi Arabia by launching the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP). Wherein, a pilot program sent 9252 Saudi students to the United States. At its peak, this program reached 100,000 Saudi Students studying in the U.S.
Second Strategic Dialogue: The Second Strategic Dialogue meeting was held in Riyadh and co-chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister HRH Prince Saud AlFaisal. The dialogue focused on cooperation in counterterrorism, military affairs, energy, economic and financial affairs, Consular Affairs, and education, and human development.
King Abdullah Meets First Lady Laura Bush: King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and First Lady Laura Bush launched the U.S.-Saudi Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research in Riyadh, as part of the US Middle East Breast Cancer Awareness, which took place in October 2007 during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 
King Abdullah Meets President Obama: King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz welcomed President Obama during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2009. They discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ongoing tensions with Iran surrounding its nuclear program. 
First Ministerial Meeting of the GCC-US Strategic Forum – Riyadh, KSA: The forum was launched in March 2012 with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the GCC headquarters in Riyadh.  Considering its brief history, it has become the most important grouping for US foreign and security policy in the region.
Inauguration of the “Roads of Arabia” Exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum – Washington D.C.: The exhibition focused on the influence of ancient trade routes that crossed the Arabian Peninsula and allowed for trade and cultural exchange between different civilizations. The exhibition also highlighted a range of recently discovered relics from ancient trade routes, including beautiful glass-wares, pottery, and heavy gold earrings, in addition to subsequent developments of Hajj routes to Makkah after the emergence of Islam.
President Obama Met with King Abdullah – Riyadh, KSA: King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz welcomed President Obama during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2014. Their talks focused on the Middle East peace, Iran, the crisis in Syria, and counterterrorism efforts to combat terrorism.
President Obama Offers Condolences on the Passing of King Abdullah: King Salman bin Abdulaziz welcomed President Obama during his visit to Saudi Arabia. President Obama offered his condolences on the passing of the King Abdullah as well as discussed bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and the USA.
President Trumps Visits Saudi Arabia and Meets with King Salman bin Abdulaziz – Riyadh, KSA: President Trump and King Abdulaziz held meetings, where they discussed ways to strengthen bilateral military and commercial ties. Three summits were held during the visit including, the Arab Islamic American Summit, U.S.-Saudi Bilateral Summit, and the U.S.-GCC Cooperation Council Summit
First Saudi-US CEO Forum: The inaugural Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum in Riyadh launched during President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia. More than 100 chief executives and other influential business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. attended for forum.
HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Visited the United States: HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz visited the U.S. for nearly three weeks on an extensive tour of the US, where he met with President Trump, Members of Congress, local and community leaders, business executives, think tank and policy experts, academics, among others.   
Second Saudi-US CEO Forum: The second annual Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum brought together more than 200 business leaders. It resulted in the signing of 36 MOUs totaling more than $20 billion.
Formal Launch of the Net-Zero Producers Forum: In 2021, Saudi Arabia joined the United States and other partners to establish the Net-Zero Producers Forum to develop pathways to net-zero emissions for the global oil and gas sector. 

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