Saudi Arabia country overview

The land of Saudi Arabia

Geography, People, Culture, and Economic Profile

Saudi Arabia information index

The land of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a vast country that covers about 80% of the Arabian Peninsula, making it one of the largest countries in the Middle East. Its borders are shared with several neighboring countries, including Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait to the north, each of which contributes to the diverse cultural tapestry of the region. To the east, Saudi Arabia is surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Persian Gulf, with neighboring countries like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman providing a maritime connection to the wider world. The presence of these countries highlights Saudi Arabia’s importance as a regional hub for trade and commerce. In the southeastern part of the country, a portion of Oman extends into Saudi Arabian territory, further illustrating the interconnectedness of the Arabian Peninsula. To the south and southwest, Saudi Arabia shares a border with Yemen, a country with which it has a complex history of political and cultural relations. Overall, Saudi Arabia’s strategic location and diverse bordering countries make it a key player in the geopolitics of the Middle East, shaping its identity as a crossroads of cultures and influences. 

Throughout history, Saudi Arabia has faced various border disputes with its neighboring countries, particularly along its western borders. The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba form the natural boundaries of the country, but disputes have arisen with countries like Yemen and Qatar over specific border demarcations. In 2000, a border dispute with Yemen was on the brink of resolution, bringing an end to years of tension and uncertainty. Similarly, in 2001, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were able to come to an agreement regarding their shared border, easing tensions between the two nations. However, the border with the United Arab Emirates still remains undefined, posing challenges for both countries in terms of security and territorial integrity. One significant historical event related to borders is the establishment of a political boundary between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1969. Prior to this, a territory of 2,200 square miles along the gulf coast was jointly administered as a neutral zone by both countries. This arrangement helped to maintain peace and stability in the region, but ultimately a formal boundary was needed to clarify each country’s jurisdiction and sovereignty over the area. Overall, while border issues have been a source of tension in the past, Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in resolving disputes and establishing clear boundaries with its neighbors. By working towards peaceful resolutions and mutual agreements, the country aims to ensure stability and security along its borders for the benefit of all parties involved. 

Currently, both Saudi Arabia and Iraq have reached a mutual agreement regarding administrative control and oil production in the once-disputed Neutral Zone. This agreement was the result of a legal resolution in 1981 that divided the territory between the two nations. Despite this resolution, there have been persistent conflicts and disputes between Saudi Arabia and Iraq that have impeded the final demarcation of boundaries on the ground. The unresolved issues and ongoing conflicts have created challenges for both countries in fully establishing their respective territories and rights within the Neutral Zone. This has led to tensions and disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as they strive to assert their control and maximize their benefits from the oil production in the area. Efforts have been made to negotiate and resolve these disputes, but progress has been slow and hindered by historical animosities and geopolitical considerations. Both countries continue to assert their claims and interests in the Neutral Zone, leading to a complex and delicate situation that requires careful diplomacy and cooperation to find a lasting solution. It remains to be seen how Saudi Arabia and Iraq will navigate these challenges and work towards a final resolution that can satisfy both parties and ensure stability and cooperation in the region. Until then, the Neutral Zone will remain a point of contention and a reminder of the complexities of border disputes and resource management in the Middle East.

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