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Financial Times: Saudis Withdrawing Investments from U.S.

By VOA News

A British newspaper has reported that Saudi investors have withdrawn tens of billions of dollars from the United States out of concern that their assets may be frozen. The Financial Times quoted an expert on U.S.-Saudi relations, Youssef Ibrahim, as saying Saudis have withdrawn at least $200 billion from U.S. banks in recent months. The newspaper said bankers put the figure closer to $100 billion.

Ibrahim said demands by some in the U.S. media for freezing Saudi assets has influenced investors from the oil-rich country to withdraw their money. He said the trend may accelerate in light of last week's lawsuit of more than $100 trillion by relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks on the United States. Several Saudi Arabian princes, Islamic charities and other alleged supporters of the attacks are named in the lawsuit.

The Financial Times also reported Wednesday that analysts believe Saudi investments in the United States range from $400 billion-$600 billion. U.S.-Saudi relations have become strained in the past year. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on September 11 were Saudi nationals.

Earlier this month, an analyst, Laurent Murawiec, briefing Pentagon officials on defense policy reportedly accused Saudi Arabia of being active at every level of terrorism - "from planners to financiers, cadre to foot-soldier, ideologist to cheerleader." He said Washington should consider seizing Saudi financial and oil assets if Riyadh does not end its alleged ties to terrorists.

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Publication:Israel Faxx
Date:Aug 22, 2002
Words:244
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