For the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, defeating Daesh specifically—and violent extremism in general—remains an unwavering and shared objective.
Through the course of the two nation’s robust and long-standing relationship, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have cooperated closely on a myriad of counterterrorism initiatives. From shared intelligence, to Saudi’s ongoing engagement as part of a U.S.-led global campaign against violent extremism, the mission remains clear: wipe out the source sustaining terrorism.
As written by Arab Weekly columnist Fahad Nazer, “U.S.-Saudi relations have in many ways deepened and broadened over the past few decades. Saudi Arabia continues to play a vital role in stabilizing international energy markets and Riyadh appreciates the unique role the United States can play in bringing stability to the Middle East and in upholding the international order. Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminence in the Islamic and Arab worlds has been acknowledged by successive U.S. administrations.”
One can look at the 2010 foiled plot as a prime example. The Yemen-based branch of Al-Qaeda had then attempted to send bomb-laden Fedex and UPS planes to Chicago. Intelligence sharing from the Saudis to the U.S. however alerted American authorities of the attack; the planes were stopped while en route to the U.S.
Under a new U.S. administration, Saudi Arabia has expressed deep optimism about a continued U.S. alliance. “We look forward to working with the Trump administration on all issues,” said Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. “We are very very optimistic about our ability to resolve issues in the region… We expect to see a realistic American foreign policy, and we look forward to working with this administration very, very closely.”
Close cooperation on the counterterrorism front has broadened the alliance across other core areas—including cultural exchanges and a working trade relationship. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. reached an estimated $70 billion in trade last year. Some 60,000 Saudi students additionally study at U.S.-based universities.
Read more at United Press International.