May 16, 2008 / 12:39 PM / 10 years ago

CHRONOLOGY - U.S.-Saudi relations since 9/11


May 16 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush will likely receive little more than a smile and handshake when he asks Saudi Arabia to help lower oil prices during a visit to Riyadh this week to commemorate 75 years of a relationship that has developed fissures since 9/11.

Here is a chronology of relations since Sept 11, 2001:



Sept 11, 2001 - Washington blames suicide attacks on U.S. cities on Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network and identifies 15 of the 19 hijackers as Saudi nationals.

-- Oct 25 - United States seeks to play down reports it is unhappy with Saudi support for its war on terrorism.

April 25, 2002 - Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah meet in Texas amid Saudi warnings that Bush must moderate U.S. support for Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians or risk "grave consequences." Bush urges Israel to complete a withdrawal from Palestinian areas without further bloodshed.

-- Aug 6 - The U.S. scrambles to assure Saudi Arabia that its policy toward its Gulf ally has not changed after reports of a July briefing to a Pentagon advisory panel depicting Riyadh as an emerging enemy and backer of terrorism.

March 18, 2003 - Saudi Arabia vows it will take no part in a U.S.-led war on "brotherly Iraq".

-- March 26 - Prince Saud warns that Saudi Arabia’s alliance with the U.S. may be damaged if the war against Iraq drags on or turns into a bloodbath for Iraqi civilians.

-- May 11 - Three suicide bombers attack a compound in the Saudi capital Riyadh killing at least 35 Americans and Saudis.

-- July 29 - Bush flatly rejects a Saudi request to declassify part of a report on 9/11 dealing with Saudi Arabia, on the grounds it would compromise intelligence.

-- Aug 25 - The U.S. and Saudi Arabia say they will launch a joint task force in Riyadh to tackle funding of terrorism.

-- Aug 27 - The United States ends more than a decade of military operations in Saudi Arabia amid resentment in the kingdom over the American military presence.

-- June 12, 2004 - U.S. national Kenneth Scroggs is shot dead in Riyadh. Al Qaeda claims responsibility. Days later kidnappers behead an employee of U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin.

-- Sept 17 - Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia reject a U.S. State Department report accusing Saudi Arabia of severe violations of religious freedom.

Feb 2, 2005 - Bush publicly prods both Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to move more quickly to embrace democracy.

April 25 - Bush meets Crown Prince Abdullah in Texas, pressing Saudi Arabia to take steps to relieve record-high oil prices, but the Crown Prince insisted that global supplies were adequate.

Aug 1 - Bush offers U.S. condolences for the death of Saudi King Fahd and promises a close partnership with Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the new monarch, King Abdullah.

Feb 14 - Saudi Arabia says it will go forward with plans to expand oil production despite U.S. goals of cutting dependence on crude from the Middle East.

Feb 25, 2007 - Saudi Arabia’s former envoy to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, says that the Bush administration’s talk of breaking its dependency on foreign oil is a political myth.

Jan 15, 2008 - Saudi Arabia vows to boost output when the market needed more, responding to a call from Bush, who is in Saudi Arabia, for OPEC to tame high prices.

May 16 - Bush arrives for his second visit to discuss record oil prices. (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Edited by Firouz Sedarat)



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