The Future of US-Saudi Relations: A Diplomatic Perspective

Thursday, February 21, 2019
10:00 – 11:30 AM*

National Press Club
Holeman Lounge
529 14th St., NW
Washington, DC 20045

Special Guest


Ambassador Robert W. Jordan
Former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Diplomat in Residence and Adjunct Professor at Southern Methodist University
Author of Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11


Analysts and diplomats routinely describe the US-Saudi relationship as a special strategic alliance based on common business and security interests. It has lasted over eight decades that have seen periods of close cooperation and others of significant diplomatic and economic differences. Unforeseen developments like the 1973 oil embargo, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on US targets, and the October 2018 Khashoggi murder have shaken the foundation of this bilateral relationship. Nonetheless, the alliance survives despite these ups and downs.

Given recent developments, what are the future prospects of US-Saudi relations? What actions will the new Congress and President Trump take with regards to Khashoggi’s killing, the war in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia’s treatment of human rights activists? Is the Trump Administration’s preoccupation with Iran and plans to establish an “Arab NATO” steering US relations with the kingdom and US strategic objectives in the region? How effective is the Trump Administration’s transactional approach to relations with Riyadh? And what are the main policy recommendations for the US government in dealing with Saudi Arabia?

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*Registration and light breakfast to begin at 9:30 AM