Nations in the Persian Gulf share economic and security interests with the United States, and their leaders want to expand the partnerships.
The United States recently held strategic dialogues with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar — all long-time allies — to further build on joint interests.
The three nations are all part of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, a joint body that includes all of the Gulf Cooperation Council members and the United States, that tracks and disrupts financial flows to terrorists around the world.
The October 14 dialogue with Saudi Arabia was the first of its kind since 2006. Saudi Arabia is a co-leader of the Coalition to Defeat ISIS and is a valuable partner of the United States in countering al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
In addition, Saudi Arabia is committed to a political solution to the war in Yemen, one negotiated under U.N. auspices between the Republic of Yemen government and the Houthis. Saudi Arabia has continued their contributions to humanitarian aid and development in Yemen, while also contributing to the Syria Stabilization Fund.
“We reaffirmed our mutual commitment to countering Iranian malign activity, and the threat it poses to regional security and prosperity, and the security of the American people as well,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said of the Saudi-U.S. alliance.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdulaziz that established the modern U.S.-Saudi relationship.
Today 37,000 Saudis are studying in the United States, the fourth-highest number of international students in the nation. Trade with Saudi Arabia totals more than $27 billion annually.
The United States and the United Arab Emirates completed their first strategic dialogue on October 20 to address areas of mutual interest: politics, defense, law enforcement and border security, intelligence and counterterrorism, human rights, economics, culture and academics, and space.
The dialogue included traditional areas and new ones such as space. The UAE signed the Artemis Accords on October 13 to participate in future missions to the Moon and Mars.
The United States and the UAE plan to share intelligence to counter terrorism and other threats posed by Iran and other actors.
“By working with us, the UAE has shown that you want the U.N. to do its job to uphold peace and security in your region,” Pompeo said.
Bahrain and the UAE established diplomatic relations with Israel via the historic Abraham Accords. The agreement, facilitated by the United States, provided an opportunity to enhance regional peace initiatives.
“It was a brave step that will create more opportunities for peace, prosperity, and stability in the Middle East and all around the world,” Pompeo said on October 20.