Congress Presses for Saudi Cooperation

(New York Times/AP) As Saudi Arabia tries to mend its image, Congress is pressing for more cooperation on issues ranging from combating terrorism to returning U.S. children abducted in custody disputes. "According to the State Department, the Saudi government has never returned a single kidnapped American child. Not one,'' Rep. Dan Burton, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said Wednesday. Burton denounced the Saudis for refusing to turn over documents his committee subpoenaed from some of the embassy's U.S. lobbyists and lawyers, as well as Qorvis Communications, a public relations firm that Burton said is paid $200,000 per month by the Saudis. The records could shed light on child custody cases and accusations that the embassy aided the abductors, Burton said. Amid the criticism of Qorvis Communications' work for the Saudis, three of its founding partners announced Wednesday they were leaving for another firm. One of the three, Jim Weber, said the Saudi work was a factor.

2002-12-06 00:00:00

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