Saudi Arabia threatens to pull $750 billion in US assets over 9/11 row


Saudi Arabia has threatened the US administration that they will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars of American assets if the US Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible for any role in the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to the New York Times report, the warning was delivered by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir last month during a visit to Washington. “Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the US before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts,” the report said.

The bill, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year, will take away immunity from foreign governments in cases “arising from a terrorist attack that kills an American on American soil.” The Obama administration is opposing the bill, arguing that it would make foreign nations retaliate by passing similar legislation and target US citizens and corporations in their national courts. US Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel in February that the bill, in its present form, would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”

If this bill is passed by the US Congress, the outcome could be disastrous for the US economy. Saudi Arabia holds $750 billion in US Treasury securities and other assets, and selling such huge amounts would put a severe pressure on the US currency, and set a dangerous example for the country’s economy.

However, experts believe that Saudi Arabia appears to be prepared to destroy their economy just to present a financial blow to their US counterparts. As a matter of fact, the differences between the Saudi kingdom and the US are increasingly becoming visible. However, this development is triggering frustration among families of the 9/11 victims. Many of them feel US President Barack Obama is shielding Saudi Arabia over US citizens.

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