Kirby says 9/11 bill will not affect US-Saudi relations

State Department spokesman John Kirby says US has concerns about 9/11 bill but that it will not have "unalterable effect" on US-Saudi relations

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

State Department Spokesman John Kirby speaks during the daily briefing at the State Department on January 6, 2015 in Washington, DC.

The US said Thursday it had concerns about a pending 9/11 bill but that it would not have an "unalterable effect" on American-Saudi Arabia relations.

"Nothing's changed about our concerns about this pending legislation," State Department spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing.

"Has it had some sort of unalterable effect on our relationship? No, it has not."

Kirby added that, going forward, the Obama administration was going to continue to consult with members of Congress on the issue.

Meanwhile, Kirby stressed the "strong" US relationship with Saudi Arabia is going to continue "to look for ways to deepen and broaden.”

According to Kirby, Riyadh's leadership was important and "critical" for current regional challenges such as promoting a political solution for Syria.

The bipartisan bill 9/11, recently cleared committee and is headed to the full Senate for consideration.

The passage of the bill would allow Americans to sue foreign governments for their involvement in terror attacks.

Kirby's comments came after the President Barack Obama announced Tuesday he would likely veto the bill.

The issue has gained traction as the Obama administration weighs the possible declassification of 28 pages of a key report on the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that allegedly suggests a Saudi-funded support network for the hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center towers and Pentagon while they were in the US. 

Obama visited Saudi Arabia and met with Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council leaders on Thursday. 

TRTWorld, AA