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U.S.-SAUDI STRATEGIC ALLIANCE AGREEMENT (SAA)



  Jun 25, 2024

U.S.-SAUDI STRATEGIC ALLIANCE AGREEMENT (SAA)



What is the Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA)?
The SAA is a proposed comprehensive agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia aimed at strengthening their bilateral relationship, focusing on security, economic collaboration, and regional stability.

What are the key components of the SAA?
The SAA is expected to have three main components:

1. Bilateral: A strategic defense pact similar to the U.S.-Japan treaty.
2. Regional: Efforts towards a ceasefire in Gaza and progress on the Israel-Palestine issue.
3. Global: Alignment of Saudi foreign policy with U.S. interests, limiting ties with China and Russia.

Why is the SAA significant for U.S.-Saudi relations?
The SAA aims to transition the U.S.-Saudi relationship to a more equal and transactional partnership, ensuring security commitments and economic benefits, especially aligning with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

What challenges does the SAA face?

1. Trust Deficit: Historical incidents, like the U.S. inaction during the 2019 attack on Saudi oil facilities, have strained trust.

2. Gaza Conflict: The ongoing conflict makes it politically difficult for Saudi Arabia to reconcile with Israel, which is a U.S. condition for the SAA.

What are the potential benefits of the SAA for India?
The SAA could enhance regional stability, create economic opportunities, promote the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, and allow the U.S. to focus more on its Indo-Pacific strategy, aligning with India’s interests.

How has China influenced the U.S.-Saudi negotiations?
China’s growing influence in Saudi Arabia, highlighted by President Xi Jinping’s visit in December 2022, has prompted the U.S. to reinforce its ties with Saudi Arabia to prevent losing strategic influence in the region.

What is the status of the U.S. and Saudi negotiations on the SAA?
Negotiations are ongoing, with both sides working to address their respective demands and challenges. The agreement’s success depends on resolving key issues like the Gaza conflict and trust deficits.

How could the SAA impact the Middle East region?
If successful, the SAA could reinforce U.S. influence (Pax Americana) in the Gulf, boost pro-West regimes, and potentially diminish the Palestinian cause. Failure to secure the SAA may lead to continued regional turmoil and influence from non-state actors backed by Iran.

What is Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030?
Vision 2030 is Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to diversify its economy, reduce dependence on oil, and develop sectors like tourism, entertainment, and infrastructure. The SAA would likely support projects under this vision, benefiting American companies.

What role does Israel play in the SAA negotiations?
The U.S. wants Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel and establish full diplomatic relations as part of the SAA. This step is crucial for U.S. Senate approval and could reshape geopolitical dynamics in the Middle East.




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