[Washington, DC] -- During an interview with the BBC on August 15, 2003, I was asked questions about the lawsuits pending in the American courts that allege Saudi complicity in the September 11 attacks.
I understand that the lawyers for the plaintiffs in those lawsuits have used my comments during that interview to argue that “the Saudi government is content” to let those lawsuits proceed against government officials, agencies and instrumentalities of Saudi Arabia.
It is incorrect to draw that conclusion from my interview.
The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has great respect for the American court system. One reason for this is the long tradition of the American courts in determining whether disputes - particularly those involving foreign government officials, agencies, and instrumentalities - belong in the judicial system, or if they are matters of international relations, for governments to work out between themselves, using diplomatic channels. Those channels work well between the United States and Saudi Arabia. It would be unfortunate, and unwelcome, to have that process distracted, or even disrupted, by private lawsuits making untrue charges that Saudi government officials, agencies and instrumentalities are sponsors of terrorist acts. Saudi Arabia is America’s ally in the war on terror.