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Ex-Envoy Says 9/11 Suit Against Saudis Could Hurt Relations

A former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia is warning that a pending lawsuit against top Saudi government and business figures filed by victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks could jeopardize relations between the two nations and strengthen the hand of anti-American forces in the kingdom’s ruling circles. If the plaintiffs prevailed, “it would aid and abet those within the Kingdom, including not a few in the ruling Al-Saud (royal family), who argue that their country should now end its longstanding cooperation with the United States,” former ambassador Chas. W. Freeman Jr. contended in an affidavit. Freeman’s 15-page statement was filed in federal court in Washington this week by lawyers for Prince Sultan, the Saudi defense minister, as part of a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which seeks $1 trillion in damages. It alleges that top Saudis financed and promoted the al Qaeda terrorist network; Sultan and the other defendants deny the allegations. Full Story

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