US sends tough message to Saudi Arabia

Jun 22, 2004 02:00 AM

The United States has sent a tough message to Saudi Arabia that did not rule out the abandoning of the kingdom's oil sector.
US officials said the Bush administration has warned that Americans would not stay in Saudi Arabia unless the kingdom takes significant steps to protect them. The officials said the warning came in wake of the Al Qaeda execution of Lockheed Martin engineer Paul Johnson on June 18.

Fewer than 30,000 Americans were estimated to live in Saudi Arabia, with many of them working in the defence and oil sectors. More than 5,000 Americans were said to have left the kingdom over the last year and many more were said to planning to leave for the summer.
"It could have an effect [on the Saudi oil industry]," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "Saudi authorities, as commendable as their overall effort is, have not yet been able to stop the terrorists to the point that everybody doesn't have to worry anymore."

Source: Middle East Newsline
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