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Volume :10 Issue : 39 1984      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR REPRESENTATION IN SAUDI ARABIA (1936 – 1944)

Auther : By: Dr. Najat Abdul Kader Al-Jassem

The diplomatic and consular representation between Saudi Arabia and the United States throws a light on the development of relations between both Countries. The development of American interests in Saudi Arabia; the most important which is oil, is a major controlling factor of the development of these relations and the United States strategic plans. In this study authentic American documents were consulted.

Despite the growth of American interests in Saudi Arabia since standard Oil Company of California obtained its oil concession in 1933, the U.S. continued to acknowledge British political and military sovereignty in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula. This is due to the fact that American interests in Saudi Arabia did not attain – by that time – a volume that may have induced a reorientation of its policy towards Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabian authorities approached the United States Foreign office in 1928 as regards exchanging diplomatic relations, but the U.S. Government refused. In 1928 – 1929 America reviewed the subject of acknowledging Ibn Saud, when Hijaz and Nejd, were merged in, to form (1932) Saudi Arabia. The matter was reviewed with Ibn Saud’s representatives through the American Ambassador in London and political recognition was granted in May 1931. In November 1933 an agreement was signed in London dealing primarily with diplomatic and consular representation, judicial, commercial and naval affairs.

Standard Oil Company of California began to send its political reports to the American Foreign Office, pressing the establishment of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia to ensure the company’s interests. But up till January 1939, the American Administration was not convinced, though in May 1939, as a result of German and Japanese activities in Saudi Arabia, it changed attitude and reviewed the subject of diplomatic representation with Saudi Arabia. Anglo-American consultations in 1941, induced the United States to assist Saudi Arabia through Britain. By the end of 1941, when the United States became a party in the Second World War, Saudi Arabia became more important to American interests and the establishment of permanent representation became necessary. The Saudi Government agreed on 1st May 1942, to the appointment of James Moos as the first American Charge de Affairs. In March 1943, diplomatic representation was raised to a Resident Minister following the recommendations of the Ministries of Military Affairs and Navy who were interested primarily in Saudi Oil.

The United States suggested in 1943 the establishment of a consulate in Dhahran, after the introduction of the project of setting up a refinery. Ibn Saud rejected giving permission lest it should be regarded as precedence.

The paper reviews in details the attempts made by the U.S. to obtain Saudi Arabian agreement to establish the consulate in Dhahran. In March 1944, the request was granted and in August Parker Hart was appointed as the first American Consul in Dhahran.

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