Saudi Arms Sale Raises Concerns in Congress

[AP] Barry Schweid - The Bush administration's proposed $20 billion dollar weapons sale to Saudi Arabia brought new allegations on Capitol Hill Tuesday that the monarchy has been lax in countering terrorism. At a hearing, Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, said the Bush administration has been unable to persuade Saudi rulers to stop the flow of fighters to Iraq and to attend a proposed regional meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Then why," he asked, "should we believe that they see the war on terror as we do, and why sell them those weapons?" "In the end," he said, "selling them arms won't guarantee their cooperation, much less their love." Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the U.S. had permitted the Saudis to "get off the hook" on failure to counter terrorism. "They have to prove they are not in a secret coalition with terrorists" to harm Americans, he said.

2007-09-19 01:00:00

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