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A Re-Evaluation of U.S.-Saudi Relations: Based on Historical and Contemporary Events

Recorded on March 18, 2009

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Though Saudi Arabia is gradually increasing its linkages with the global community, it continues to have archaic governing and succession of power institutions which give the population no direct role in decision-making.  Saudi Arabia continues to have a restrictive and xenophobic form of religion.  However, recent changes in Saudi Arabia may provide a window of opportunity for a new U.S approach.

The United States has a unique opportunity to initiate a policy that supports participatory political processes and stability in Saudi Arabia - a difficult, but necessary combination to achieve.  Reviewing and re-evaluating U.S.-Saudi relations is not only timely, but also necessary as a new U.S. Administration is promising to pursue a policy of "mutual respect."  Given the present environment in Saudi Arabia, the United States could focus on specific steps to foster democratic governing institutions necessary for sustainable stability in a country whose policies affect the international community.

Institute on Religion and Public Policy - Center for Religious Freedom - Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Traditional Values Coalition - The Henry Jackson Society - Reform Party of Syria - The Hudson Institute