Saudi warns US of economic consequences,if Congress passes 9/11 bill
New York: Saudi Arabia has warned Obama administration and US Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars in assets the kingdom holds if lawmakers go ahead with a bill that would allow American courts to hold the Saudi government responsible for any part in the 9/11 attacks, The New York Times reported.
“The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage,” the NYT quoted administration officials and congressional aides as saying.
According to the newspaper, officials warned senators of “diplomatic and economic fallout” if the bill was adopted.
According to the NYT, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir brought King Salman’s message during his visit to Washington last month.
Adel al Jubeir told American lawmakers that his nation would have to sell as much as $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets it holds in the United States, before they can be frozen by the courts if the bill is passed, the report said.
Saudi Arabia has for years denied the kingdom was part of the plot, and the 9/11 Commission ruled years ago that there was no evidence that the "Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization."
But as Obama heads to Saudi Arabia next week for a visit that will include a meeting with King Salman, the outgoing US president is facing increasing pressure to declassify those pages.