Ibn Saud, Abd-ul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia, 1880-1953

King Ibn Saud was the founder of Saudi Arabia and its King from 1932-53. During the war American interest in the country increased because of its rich oil deposits. Germany and Japan had both tried to convince Ibn Saud to sell them oil but he decided to stick to his policy of neutrality and friendship with Great Britain. (In fact the British government paid him a subsidy in 1940, 1941 and 1942 to compensate him for his loss of revenue from the pilgrimages to Mecca.) The US oil companies felt British influence was too strong and in 1943 President ROOSEVELT announced that Saudi Arabia was eligible for Lend-Lease aid. The Americans sold the Saudis arms and sent a military mission to train soldiers. In 1945 after the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt and CHURCHILL visited Saudi Arabia and were most impressed by their talks with Ibn Saud.

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