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Today in history: A special relationship in the Middle East begins
FDR sends the diplomatic equivalent of a valentine to King Abdulaziz
 
The beginning of a working relationship.
The beginning of a working relationship. (Bettmann/CORBIS)

Feb. 14, 1945: Franklin Roosevelt became the first president to meet with the king of Saudi Arabia. During World War II, the United States had courted Saudi support, and declared the kingdom's defense to be of vital interest to the U.S. Roosevelt also made the Saudis eligible for Lend-Lease assistance, as he did earlier, and more famously, with Great Britain. Saudi Arabia officially maintained neutrality through most of the war, but as the conflict wound down, King Abdulaziz met with FDR on a U.S. Navy warship in the Suez Canal; it was the beginning of what today continues to be a tacit oil-for-security relationship between the two nations.

Quote of the Day

“Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt


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