Analyst says Saudi/US relations will likely be impacted if lawsuits proceed against Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Political aftermath of the September 11th attacks in 2001 --- President Barack Obama is handed his first veto-override as Congress adopts a new law allowing lawsuits against Saudi Arabia. The law grants an exception to the legal principle of sovereign immunity in cases -- clearing the way for lawsuits by the families of victims of the attacks seeking damages from the Saudi government. Riyadh denies long-standing suspicions that it backed the hijackers who attacked the United States in 2001. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. The Saudi Foreign Ministry calls passage of the law, a "great concern." -- saying it will weaken sovereign immunity and negatively impact all countries. John Sfakiankis, with the Gulf Research Center. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ECONOMIST WITH THE JEDDAH-BASED GULF RESEARCH CENTRE, JOHN SFAKIANKIS, SAYING: "If it does lead to lawsuits actually happening, definitely Saudi Arabia and the relations with the U.S. will be impacted. There is no doubt. However there will be a period of wait and see, and there will be a period where people are watchful and want to understand what are the legal ramifications." On Thursday some U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expressing doubts -- saying the new law could be adjusted -- but not likely until after the presidential election in November,