Did a CIA medal to the Saudi crown prince close the JASTA file?
الجمعة 20 جمادى الأولى 1438ﻫ 17-2-2017م



Hoda al-Saleh, AlArabiya.net – Riyadh

The CIA recently awarded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef binAbdulaziz al-Saud the George Tenet medal for his counter-terrorism efforts. This does not only exonerate Saudi Arabia from terrorism but it also grants it a leading position in fighting terrorism on the international level, according to observers. 

The award and the American cabinet’s recognition of Saudi efforts end allegations that Saudi Arabia was involved in the September 11 attacks. The long-classified 28 pages of the official report on the September 11 attacks were made public in recent months and Saudi Arabia’s innocence was proven. 

Later on, the Congress passed JASTA, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. It allows attack survivors and relatives of terrorism victims to pursue cases against foreign governments in US federal court, and to demand compensation if those governments are proven to bear some responsibility for attacks on US soil.

There was an intensified campaign that some tried to nurture in hopes of harming relations between Washington and Riyadh.

Saudi officials however have reiterated the significance of strategic ties between the two countries. While receiving the award, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef said: “Our relations with the US are historical and strategic. Those attempting to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and America will not succeed.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said he expects Donald Trump’s administration to reconsider the controversial JASTA bill which those who stand behind it seek to exploit it through using the relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks to file lawsuits against the Saudi kingdom.

During a joint press conference held on Sunday in Riyadh with the UN Secretary General, Jubeir said: “The US estimates the negative repercussions of implementing JASTA and it may reconsider it,” adding that Saudi-American ties are excellent and the two countries’ viewpoints are matching regarding affairs in Yemen, Syria and Libya.

Recognizing Saudis efforts in combating terrorism and maintaining security and world peace is believed to help improve economic ties between Saudi Arabia and the US and other Western countries.

Some have tried to obstruct this by raising fears among Saudi investors regarding the fate of major business deals between Saudi Arabia and the US.

Therefore, awarding Saudi Arabia the George Tenet medal is percieved as not merely an award to the Saudi crown prince or to the interior ministry or the Saudi cabinet.