Taking Saudi-US ties to new levels

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

By : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

Prince Miteb bin Abdullah’s visit to the United States is talk of the town these days. The visit of the minister of Saudi National Guard was very much anticipated due to the current geopolitical developments in the region.

The visit included an audience with US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and many other top political and military figures. Prince Miteb is a prominent member of the royal family heading one of the most important ministries in the Kingdom. After completing his high school education in Jeddah, he went on to attend the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and graduated in 1974. Later, he received his Master’s degree in military science from the Command and Staff College in Riyadh. He had held many positions during his military career until he became the Minister of the National Guard. Positions held were, member of the faculty of the National Guards military schools, chaired the committee charged with developing the curricula of the newly-formed King Khaled Military Academy, he was appointed Commandant of the King Khaled Military Academy in 1983, deputy head National Guard military unit, deputy assistant chief of National Guard for Military Affairs, deputy chief of National Guard for Executive Affairs, member of the Council of Ministers and head of the National Guard on Oct. 20, 2010 and now he is the Minister of the National Guard since May 27, 2013.

He is known among Saudis for his smile and his modesty. His deep understanding of military and strategic affairs and experiences helped in elevating the capabilities of the National Guard by emphasizing on science and education. And this is what the Saudi National Guard is all about at the present time.

The Saudi National Guard is as old as modern day Saudi Arabia. It has undergone several changes and reorganizations. It was in 1962 when the Saudi National Guard took the biggest initiative to strengthen and diversify the role of the National Guard when Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (now King Abdullah) took over as the head of the National Guard. During his command, the Saudi National Guard grew in its missions to serve the Kingdom, not only on the battlefield when needed but it also started playing an important role for the welfare of all Saudis in many fields such as education and health care. In the past few years billions of dollars have been allocated to develop the National Guard’s military capabilities. In addition, many state-of-the-art schools, hospitals and higher education facilities have been constructed throughout the Kingdom. It is true that the Saudi National Guard is a force to reckon with in times of crisis. Now the National Guard is a major player in many projects that are needed by the general public. Just recently, Prince Miteb visited Al-Ahsa during the opening ceremony of a modern health care institute.

Prince Miteb’s visit to Washington is an extension of the long and strategic relations between the two countries. The relations, started in the 1930s, were strengthened when King Abdulaziz Al-Saud met with the then US President Theodore Roosevelt in 1945.

Prince Miteb’s visit comes at a time when the region needs stability and security amid a threat of terrorism, which is threatening not only the region but also the whole world.



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