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VOLUME 5, NUMBER 34, AUGUST 22, 1994
1.  Department of State Services to the Public
2.  Country Fact Sheet:  Saudi Arabia
3.  Relations Between the United States and the Republic
of Armenia
4.  Dominican Republic:  Announcement of Balaguer Victory
Fact Sheet:  Department of State Services to the Public
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Fact Sheet:  Department of State Services to the Public
Saudi Arabia's 1992 population is estimated to be about
16.9 million, including about 4.6 million resident
foreigners.  Until the 1960s, most of  the population was
nomadic or semi-nomadic; due to rapid economic and urban
growth, more than 95% of the population now is settled.
Some cities and oases have densities of more than 1,000
people per square kilometer (2,600 per sq. mile).
Saudi Arabia is known as the birthplace of Islam, which
in the century following Muhammad's death in 632 spread
to much of the Mediterranean world.  Islam obliges all
Muslims to make the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Makkah, at
least once during their lifetime if they are able to do
so.  The cultural environment in Saudi Arabia is highly
conservative; the country adheres to a strict
interpretation of Islamic religious law (Shari'a).
Cultural presentations must conform to narrowly defined
standards of ethics.  Men and women are not permitted to
attend public events together and are segregated in the
work place.
Most Saudis are ethnically Arab.  Some are of mixed
ethnic origin and are descended from Turks, Iranians,
Indonesians, Indians, and Africans, most of whom
immigrated as pilgrims and reside in the Hijaz region
along the Red Sea coast.  Many Arabs from nearby
countries are employed in the kingdom.  There also are
significant numbers of expatriate workers from North
America, South Asia, Europe, and East Asia.
Except for a few major cities and oases, the harsh
climate historically prevented much settlement of the
Arabian Peninsula.  People of various cultures have lived
there over a span of more than 5,000 years.  The Dilmun
culture, along the Gulf coast, was contemporaneous with
the Sumerians and ancient Egyptians, and most of the
empires of the ancient world traded with the states of
the peninsula.
The Saudi state began in central Arabia in about 1750.  A
local ruler, Muhammad bin Saud, joined forces with an
Islamic reformer, Muhammad Abd Al-Wahhab, to create a new
political entity.  Over the next 150 years, the fortunes
of the Saud family rose and fell several times as Saudi
rulers contended with Egypt, the Ottoman Turks, and other
Arabian families for control on the peninsula.  The
modern Saudi state was founded by the late King Abd Al-
Aziz Al-Saud (known internationally as Ibn Saud).  In
1902, Abd Al-Aziz recaptured Riyadh, the Al-Saud
dynasty's ancestral capital, from the rival Al-Rashid
family.  Continuing his conquests, Abd Al-Aziz subdued
Al-Hasa, the rest of Nejd, and the Hijaz between 1913 and
1926.  In 1932, these regions were unified as the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia.
Boundaries with Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait were established
by a series of treaties negotiated in the 1920s, with two
"neutral zones"--one with Iraq and the other with Kuwait-
-created.  The Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone was
administratively partitioned in 1971, with each state
continuing to share the petroleum resources of the former
zone equally.  Tentative agreement on the partition of
the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone was reached in 1981, and
partition was finalized by 1983.  The country's southern
boundary with Yemen was partially defined by the 1934
Treaty of Taif, which ended a brief border war between
the two states.  It remains undefined in many areas.  The
border between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
was agreed upon in 1974.  Boundary differences with Qatar
remained unresolved.
King Abd Al-Aziz died in 1953 and was succeeded by his
eldest son, Saud, who reigned for 11 years.  In 1964,
Saud abdicated in favor of his half-brother, Faisal, who
had served as Foreign Minister.  Because of fiscal
difficulties, King Saud had been persuaded in 1958 to
delegate direct conduct of Saudi Government affairs to
Faisal as Prime Minister; Saud briefly regained control
of the government in 1960-62.  In October 1962, Faisal
outlined a broad reform program, stressing economic
development.  Proclaimed King in 1964 by senior royal
family members and religious leaders, Faisal also
continued to serve as Prime Minister.  This practice has
been followed by subsequent kings.
The mid-1960s saw external pressures generated by Saudi-
Egyptian differences over Yemen.  When civil war broke
out in 1962 between Yemeni royalists and republicans,
Egyptian forces entered Yemen to support the new
republican government, while Saudi Arabia backed the
royalists.  Tensions subsided only after 1967, when Egypt
withdrew its troops from Yemen.
Saudi forces did not participate in the Six-Day (Arab-
Israeli) war of June 1967, but the government later
provided annual subsidies to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria to
support their economies.  During the 1973 Arab-Israeli
war, Saudi Arabia participated in the Arab oil boycott of
the United States and Netherlands.  A member of the
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),
Saudi Arabia had joined other member countries in
moderate oil price increases beginning in 1971.  After
the 1973 war, the price of oil rose substantially,
dramatically increasing Saudi wealth and political
In 1975, King Faisal was assassinated by a nephew, who
was executed after an extensive investigation concluded
that he acted alone.  Faisal was succeeded by his half-
brother Khalid as King and Prime Minister; their half-
brother Prince Fahd was named Crown Prince and First
Deputy Prime Minister.  King Khalid empowered Crown
Prince Fahd to oversee many aspects of the government's
international and domestic affairs.  Economic development
continued rapidly under King Khalid, and the kingdom
assumed a more influential role in regional politics and
international economic and financial matters.
In June 1982, King Khalid died, and Fahd became King and
Prime Minister in a smooth transition.  Another half-
brother, Prince Abdullah, Commander of the Saudi National
Guard, was named Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime
Minister.  King Fahd's brother, Prince Sultan, the
Minister of Defense and Aviation, became Second Deputy
Prime Minister.
Under King Fahd, the Saudi economy adjusted to sharply
lower oil revenues resulting from declining global oil
prices.  Saudi Arabia supported neutral shipping in the
Gulf during periods of the Iran-Iraq war and aided Iraq's
war-strained economy.  King Fahd played a major part in
bringing about the August 1988 cease-fire and in
organizing and strengthening the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC), a group of six Arabian Gulf states dedicated to
fostering regional economic cooperation and peaceful
In 1990-91, King Fahd played a key role before and during
the Gulf war.  It was his early, formal request to
President Bush for military assistance on August 6, 1990,
that allowed U.S. troops to deploy in time to avert
possible moves by Iraq's Saddam Hussein into Saudi
Arabia.  King Fahd's action also consolidated the
coalition of forces against Iraq and helped define the
tone of the operation as a multilateral effort to
reestablish the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Kuwait.  Acting as a rallying point and personal
spokesman for the coalition, King Fahd helped bring
together his nation's GCC allies, Western allies, and
Arab allies, as well as non-aligned nations from Africa
and the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe.  He used
his influence as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to
persuade other Arab and Islamic nations to join the
The central institution of Saudi Arabian Government is
the monarchy.  No formal constitution exists; there are
no political parties or national elections.  The
authority of the monarchy is based on Islamic law
(Shari'a).  The king's powers are limited because he must
observe the Shari'a and other Saudi traditions.  He also
must retain a consensus of the Saudi royal family,
religious leaders (ulema), and other important elements
in Saudi society.  The leading members of the royal
family choose the king from among themselves with the
subsequent approval of the ulema.
Saudi kings gradually have developed a central
government.  Since 1953, the Council of Ministers,
appointed by and responsible to the king, has advised on
the formulation of general policy and directed the
activities of the growing bureaucracy.  This council
consists of a prime minister, the first and second deputy
prime ministers, 20 ministers (of whom the minister of
defense is also the second deputy prime minister), two
ministers of state, and a small number of advisers and
heads of major autonomous organizations.
Legislation is by resolution of the Council of Ministers,
ratified by royal decree, and must be compatible with the
Shari'a.  Justice is administered according to the
Shari'a by a system of religious courts whose judges are
appointed by the king on the recommendation of the
Supreme Judicial Council, composed of 12 senior jurists.
The independence of the judiciary is protected by law.
The king acts as the highest court of appeal and has the
power to pardon.  Access to high officials (usually at a
majlis, or public audience) and the right to petition
them directly are well-established traditions.
The kingdom is divided into 13 provinces governed by
princes or close relatives of the royal family.  All
governors are appointed by the king.
In March 1992, King Fahd issued several decrees outlining
the basic statutes of government and codifying for the
first time procedures concerning the royal succession.
The King's political reform program also provided for the
establishment of a national Consultative Council, with
appointed members having advisory powers to review and
give advice on issues of public interest.  It also
outlined a framework for councils at the provincial or
emirate level.
In September 1993, King Fahd issued additional reform
decrees, appointing the members of the national
Consultative Council and spelling out procedures for the
new council's operations.  He announced reforms regarding
the Council of Ministers, including term limitations of
four years and regulations to prohibit conflict of
interest for ministers and other high-level officials.
The members of 13 provincial councils and the councils'
operating regulations also were announced in September
Principal Government Officials
King, Prime Minister, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques--
King Fahd bin Abd Al-Aziz Al-Saud
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Prince Saud Al Faysal bin
Abd Al-Aziz Al-Saud
Ambassador to the U.S.--Prince Bandar bin Sultan
The Saudi Arabia embassy is at 601 New Hampshire Avenue
NW, Washington, DC 20037; tel. 202-342-3800.
Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia by American geologists
in the 1930s, although large-scale production did not
begin until after World War II.  Oil wealth has made
possible rapid economic development, which began in
earnest in the 1960s and accelerated spectacularly in the
1970s, transforming the kingdom.
Saudi oil reserves are the largest in the world, and
Saudi Arabia is the world's leading oil producer and
exporter.  Oil accounts for more than 90% of the
country's exports and nearly 75% of government revenues.
Proven reserves are estimated at more than 260 billion
barrels--about one-quarter of world oil reserves.
More than 95% of all Saudi oil is produced on behalf of
the Saudi Government by the parastatal giant, Saudi
ARAMCO.  In June 1993, Saudi ARAMCO absorbed the state
marketing and refining company (SAMAREC), becoming the
world's largest fully integrated oil company.  Operating
in the former neutral zone, the Japanese-owned Arabian
Oil Company (AOC) and the Saudi subsidiary of Texaco,
Saudi Arabian Texaco, provide the rest of Saudi crude oil
production.  Most Saudi oil exports move by tanker from
terminals at Ras Tanura and Ju'Aymah.  The remaining oil
exports are transported via the east-west pipeline across
the kingdom to the Red Sea port of Yanbu.
Due to a sharp rise in petroleum revenues in 1974
following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, Saudi Arabia became
one of the fastest-growing nations in the world.  It
enjoyed a substantial surplus in its overall trade with
other countries; imports increased rapidly; and ample
government revenues were available for development,
defense, and aid to other Arab and Islamic countries.
But higher oil prices led to development of more oil
fields around the world and reduced global consumption.
The result, beginning in the mid-1980s, was a worldwide
oil glut, which introduced an element of planning
uncertainty for the first time in a decade.  Saudi oil
production, which had increased to almost 10 million
barrels per day (b/d) during 1980-81, dropped to about 2
million b/d in 1985.  Budgetary deficits developed, and
the government drew down its foreign assets.  Responding
to financial pressures, Saudi Arabia gave up its role as
the "swing producer" within OPEC in the summer of 1985
and accepted a production quota.  Since then, Saudi oil
policy has been guided by a desire to maintain market and
quota shares.
Through five-year development plans, the government has
sought to allocate its petroleum income to transform its
relatively undeveloped, oil-based economy into that of a
modern industrial state while maintaining the kingdom's
traditional Islamic values and customs.  Although
economic planners have not achieved all their goals, the
economy has progressed rapidly, and the standard of
living of most Saudis has improved significantly.
Dependence on petroleum revenue continues, but industry
and agriculture now account for a larger share of
economic activity.  A shortage of skilled Saudi workers
at all levels remains the principal obstacle to economic
diversification and development; about 3.5 million non-
Saudis are employed in the economy.
Saudi Arabia's first two development plans, covering the
1970s, emphasized infrastructure.  The results were
impressive:  The total length of paved highways tripled;
power generation increased by a multiple of 28; and the
capacity of the seaports grew tenfold.  For the third
plan (1980-85), the emphasis changed.  Spending on
infrastructure declined, but it rose markedly on
education, health, and social services.  The share for
diversifying and expanding productive sectors of the
economy (primarily industry) did not rise as planned; but
the two industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu--built
around the use of the country's oil and gas to produce
steel, petrochemicals, fertilizer, and refined oil
products--were largely completed.
In the fourth plan (1985-90), the country's basic
infrastructure was viewed as largely complete, but
education and training remained areas of concern.
Private enterprise was encouraged, and foreign investment
in the form of joint ventures with Saudi public and
private companies was welcomed.  The private sector
became more important, rising to 70% of non-oil GDP by
1987.  While still concentrated in trade and commerce,
private investment increased in industry, agriculture,
banking, and construction companies.  These private
investments were supported by generous government
financing and incentive programs.  The objective was for
the private sector to have 70%-80% ownership in most
joint venture enterprises.
The fifth plan (1990-95) emphasizes consolidation of the
country's defenses; improved and more efficient
government social services; regional development; and,
most importantly, creating greater private-sector
employment opportunities for Saudis by reducing the
number of foreign workers.
The sixth five-year plan will focus on lowering the cost
of government services without cutting them and will seek
to expand educational training programs.  The plan calls
for reducing the kingdom's dependence on the petroleum
sector by diversifying economic activity, particularly in
the private sector, with special emphasis on industry and
Saudi foreign policy objectives are to maintain its
security and its paramount position on the Arabian
Peninsula, defend general Arab interests, promote
solidarity among Islamic governments, and maintain
cooperative relations with other oil-producing and major
oil-consuming countries.  Saudi Arabia joined in the
Islamic world's condemnation of the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan.  Saudi trade and diplomatic relations with
the countries of Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union,
and the People's Republic of China are growing at a
cautious rate.
Saudi Arabia signed the UN Charter in 1945.  The country
plays a prominent and constructive role in the
International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and Arab and
Islamic financial and development assistance
institutions.  It is one of the largest aid donors in the
world and gives aid to numerous Arab, African, and Asian
countries.  Jeddah is the headquarters of the Secretariat
of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its
subsidiary organization, the Islamic Development Bank,
founded in 1969.
Membership in the 13-member OPEC and in the technically
and economically oriented Arab producer group--the
Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries--
facilitates coordination of Saudi oil policies with other
oil-exporting governments.  As the world's leading
exporter of petroleum, Saudi Arabia has a special
interest in preserving a stable and long-term market for
its vast oil resources by allying itself with healthy
Western economies which can protect the value of Saudi
financial assets.  It generally has acted to stabilize
the world oil market and tried to moderate sharp price
The Saudis frequently help mediate regional crises and
actively support the Israeli-Palestinian peace
negotiations.  A charter member of the Arab League, Saudi
Arabia supports the Arab position that Israel must
withdraw from the territories which it occupied in June
1967, including East Jerusalem.  Saudi Arabia supports a
peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict but
rejected the Camp David accords, claiming that they would
be unable to achieve a comprehensive political solution
that would ensure Palestinian rights and adequately
address the status of Jerusalem.  Although Saudi Arabia
broke diplomatic relations with and suspended aid to
Egypt in the wake of Camp David, the two countries
renewed formal ties in 1987.
In 1990-91, King Fahd and Saudi Arabia played an
important role in the Gulf war, developing new allies and
improving existing relationships between Saudi Arabia and
some other countries.  However, there also were
diplomatic and financial costs.  Relations between Saudi
Arabia and Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya deteriorated.
Each country had remained silent following Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait but called for an end to violence once
the deployment of coalition troops began.  Relations
between these countries and Saudi Arabia are slowly
returning to pre-war status.
Saudi Arabia's relations with those countries which
expressed support for Saddam Hussein's invasion of
Kuwait--Yemen, Jordan, and Sudan--were severely strained
during and immediately after the war.  For example,
several hundred thousand Yemenis were expelled from Saudi
Arabia after the Government of Yemen announced its
position, thus exacerbating an existing border dispute.
Saudi-Yemeni relations, especially in the wake of the
1994 Yemen civil war, remain fragile and of significant
concern to the Saudi Government.  The Palestine
Liberation Organization's support for Saddam cost it
financial aid as well as good relations with Saudi Arabia
and other Gulf states.  Recently, though, there have been
the beginnings of a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia
and the Palestinians, with the Saudi Government providing
assistance for Palestinian Authority start-up costs.
During and after the Gulf war, the Government of Saudi
Arabia provided water, food, shelter, and fuel for
coalition forces in the region.  There also were monetary
payments to some coalition partners.  Saudi Arabia's
combined costs in payments, forgone revenues, and donated
supplies were $55 billion.  More than $15 billion went
toward reimbursing the United States alone.
Saudi Arabia's unique role in the Arab and Islamic worlds
and its strategic location make its friendship important
to the United States.  Diplomatic relations were
established in 1933; the U.S. embassy opened in Jeddah in
1944 and moved to Riyadh in 1984.
The United States and Saudi Arabia share a common concern
about regional security, oil exports and imports, and
sustainable development.  Close consultations between the
U.S. and Saudi Arabia have developed on international,
economic, and development issues such as the Middle East
peace process and shared interests in the Gulf.  The
continued availability of reliable sources of oil,
particularly from Saudi Arabia, remains important to the
prosperity of the United States as well as to Europe and
Japan.  Saudi Arabia is the leading source of imported
oil for the United States, providing more than 20% of
total U.S. crude imports and 10% of U.S. consumption.
Since 1933, the Saudi Arabian Government has relied on
the U.S. Government and private organizations for
technical expertise and assistance in developing its
human and mineral resources.  The two countries
established a Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation in
June 1974.  Under com-mission auspices, cooperation
between the two countries has grown in technical training
and education, agriculture, science and technology,
transportation, government administration,
industrialization, and solar energy research.
In addition to economic ties, a long-standing security
relationship continues to be important in U.S.-Saudi
relations.  A U.S. military training mission established
at Dhahran in 1953 provides training and support in the
use of weapons and other security-related services to the
Saudi armed forces.  Recently, the United States
has sold Saudi Arabia military aircraft (F-15s, AWACS, F-
16s, and UH-60 Blackhawks), air defense weaponry (Patriot
and Hawk missiles), armored vehicles (M1A2 Abrams and M-2
Bradleys), and other equipment.  The compatibility of
equipment has helped U.S. operations in the Gulf.  The
U.S. Corps of Engineers has had a long-term role in
military and civilian construction activities in the
The Gulf war demonstrated U.S.-Saudi relations, with
instances of direct cooperation during the conflict in
the areas of cultural accommodation, command structure,
and combat.  For example, the United States respected
Saudi Arabia's Islamic culture by issuing general orders
prohibiting the consumption of alcohol and setting
guidelines for off-duty behavior and attire.  Saudi
Arabia accommodated U.S. culture and its military
procedures by allowing U.S. servicewomen to serve in
their varied roles throughout the kingdom--a large step
for a patriarchal society.
Human Rights
Despite close cooperation on security issues, the United
States remains concerned about human rights conditions in
Saudi Arabia.  Principal human rights problems include
abuse of prisoners and incommunicado detention;
prohibitions or severe restrictions on the freedoms of
speech and press, peaceful assembly and association, and
religion; denial of the right of citizens to change their
government; systematic discrimination against women and
ethnic and religious minorities; and suppression of
workers' rights.
Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Raymond E. Mabus
Deputy Chief of Mission--C. David Welch
Counselor for Consular Affairs--Gretchen G. Welch
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Frank S. Parker
Counselor for Political Affairs--Kenneth R. McKune
Counselor for Political-Military Affairs--Richard A.
Smith, Jr.
Counselor for Public Affairs--C. Edward Bernier
Consul General, Dhahran--David Winn
Consul General, Jeddah--Charles L. Daris
The U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia is located in the
Diplomatic Quarter of Riyadh (tel. 966-1-488-3800).  The
Consulate General in Jeddah is located on Palestine Road,
Ruwais, Jeddah (tel. 966-2-667-0080); and the Consulate
General in Dhahran is located between ARAMCO Headquarters
and the Dhahran International Airport (tel. 966-3-891-
3200).  The embassy and consulates are open for business
Saturday through Wednesday, in accordance with the
official workweek of Saudi Arabia. (###)
Relations Between the United States And the Republic of
Text of a joint statement released by the White House,
Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC, August 9,
At their meeting at the White House, President Bill
Clinton and the President of the Republic of Armenia,
Levon Ter-Petrosyan, discussed bilateral, regional and
international issues of mutual interest and agreed to
continue their efforts  to bring peace and security to
the Caucasus region.
Since Armenia's independence in 1991, the United States
and Armenia have strengthened relations.  The United
States was the first country to establish an Armenia
Embassy after Armenia's independence.  This official
visit by President Ter-Petrosyan marks an important step
that further demonstrates the significance the United
States and the Republic of Armenia attach to close
bilateral ties.
President Clinton and President Ter-Petrosyan underscored
the urgency of finding a peaceful solution to the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.  The United States welcomes
the most recent cease-fire agreement achieved between the
parties on July 27, 1994.  The United States and the
Republic of Armenia reaffirm their belief in the need to
work through the CSCE Minsk Group to achieve a peaceful
resolution to the conflict and underline the need to
coordinate all mediation efforts.
The United States appreciates the progress Armenia has
made in promoting democracy, the rule of law and the
principles of a free market economy, and reaffirms its
commitment to help Armenia overcome the obstacles it
still faces on the path to full economic reform.  The two
Presidents promised to protect and promote the values the
two countries share and which bind together the
democratic community of nations.  President Clinton and
President Ter-Petrosyan agreed that Armenia's stability
and commitment to democracy and economic reforms
constitute an important contribution to stability in the
Caucasus region.
The Republic of Armenia reiterates its commitment to
establishing normal relations with all its neighbors and
full integration into international political and
economic structures.  President Ter-Petrosyan stressed
that these objectives, so vital for Armenia's
independence and prosperity, can only be achieved through
democracy at home. (###)
Dominican Republic:  Announcement of Balaguer Victory
Statement by Department Spokesman Michael McCurry,
Washington, DC, August 2, 1994.
The United States is disappointed by the reported August
2 decision of the Central Electoral Board of the
Dominican Republic by which it declared Joaquin Balaguer
to be the winner of the May 16 Presidential elections.
During the elections and subsequently, both national and
international observers to the elections detected
numerous irregularities.  The Central Electoral Board
appointed a Commission of Verification to analyze these
questions.  The Commission catalogued a long list of
irregularities that effectively called into question tens
of thousands of votes.  The Board has effectively ignored
the Commission's findings.
In the past, the parties to the election expressed their
desire to address the remaining unresolved issues in a
manner which would restore confidence in the political
and electoral processes in the Dominican Republic.
One suggestion being made in the Dominican Republic is to
hold early elections.  The United States believes that
new elections are the right idea, and urges Dominican
authorities to take immediate steps in that direction.

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