U.S. Relations With Saudi Arabia

Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 23, 2013

More information about Saudi Arabia is available on the Saudi Arabia Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States and Saudi Arabia established full diplomatic relations in 1940. Saudi Arabia's unique role in the Arab and Islamic worlds, its possession of the world's largest reserves of oil, and its strategic location make its friendship important to the United States. The United States and Saudi Arabia share common concerns and consult closely on wide range of regional and global issues. As the region is going through a period of great transformation, the United States appreciates Saudi Arabia’s leadership in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future for the region. Saudi Arabia is also a strong partner in regional security and counterterrorism efforts, providing military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation. It works closely with U.S. law enforcement to safeguard both countries' national security interests.

U.S. Assistance to Saudi Arabia

The United States and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding security relationship and have cooperated closely on this front for nearly 60 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a role in military and civilian construction activities in Saudi Arabia. Three security assistance organizations are funded through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program: to provide training and support in the use of weapons and other security-related services to the Saudi armed forces; to assist in the modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard; and to train and equip a Facility Security Force, part of the Ministry of Interior. The United States has sold Saudi Arabia military aircraft, air defense weaponry, armored vehicles, and other equipment.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and Saudi Arabia enjoy a strong economic relationship, as the United States is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is one of the largest U.S. export markets in the Middle East. The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed a Trade Investment Framework Agreement. Saudi Arabia is also one of the leading sources of imported oil for the United States, providing more than one million barrels per day of oil to the U.S. market.

Saudi Arabia's Membership in International Organizations

Saudi Arabia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Saudi Arabia also is an observer to the Organization of American States.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia is Joseph W. Westphal; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List .

Saudi Arabia maintains an embassy in the United States at 601 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037; tel. 202-342-3800.

More information about Saudi Arabia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Saudi Arabia Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
U.S. Embassy: Saudi Arabia
History of U.S. Relations With Saudi Arabia
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information