Saudi Arabia

Other Report

Economic and Political Development Trip Report: Tamara Cofman Wittes and Isobel Coleman

Authors: Isobel Coleman and Tamara Cofman Wittes

In February, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Isobel Coleman met with business leaders, academics, journalists, and civic activists in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Among Wittes and Coleman's key findings are that many Saudis welcomed the emergence of a more open atmosphere, pointing to King Abdullah's ascension to the throne, dynamism in neighboring Gulf states, and a new "post-post-9/11" environment as key catalysts for the change. Yet, there was frustration at the unpredictability and arbitrariness of the newly expanded social and political space. The next U.S. administration may have a new, but narrow, window of opportunity to reintroduce itself to Saudi Arabia. Many Saudis argued for the creation of a deeper, multi-dimensional relationship between both countries that engages civil society, not just the government and business sectors.

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Other Report

Strengthening the U.S.-Saudi Relationship (A CFR Paper)

The U.S.-Saudi relationship is based on common interests that are fundamental and critical to both countries. Since September 11, however, many factions on both sides are calling for a divorce. Yet, advocating for a divorce does not take into account the powerful influence a strong U.S.-Saudi relationship has on American strategic interests and regional stability. Rather than a divorce, leaders on both sides must work to strengthen the relationship and reforge common goals.

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Video

Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East

Speakers: F. Gregory Gause III and Toby C. Jones
Presider: Paul B. Stares

Leading regional experts Gregory Gause, III and Toby C. Jones assess the stability of Saudi Arabia, its role in the reshaped region, and the future of U.S.-Saudi relations.

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