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Saudi Arabia Warns They Will Pull Assets If US Passes 9/11 Bill

04-17-2016

Saudi officials say they will sell off hundreds of billions in American assets if  Congress passes a bill that would allow the victims of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks to sue foreign governments. 
 
If passed the Saudi government will be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, reports the New York Times.
 
The Obama administration has responded and is now applying heavy pressure on Congress to block the bill. Administration officials have warned senators that the bill could bring economic and diplomatic fallout. 
 
Earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry said the legislation could "expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent."
 
The country's message was delivered last month by Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir during a trip to Washington. He told lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.
 
The bill would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue foreign states and financial partners of terrorism.
 
"It's stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens," Mindy Kleinberg told the New York Times. Mindy's husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. She is part of a group of victims family members pushing for the legislation.
 
The Saudi Arabian government has never been formally implicated in the 9/11 attacks, reports CNN, but 15 of the 19 hijackers were nationals of the country. 
 
President Obama will meet with King Salman and other Saudi officials this week. It is unclear if the legislation will be addressed during the meeting. 
 

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