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US Lawmakers Vote to Ban Aid to Saudi Arabia


The U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday to cut off aid to Saudi Arabia, accusing the close ally of religious intolerance and funding terrorist organizations.

The ban is contained in an amendment slipped into a foreign aid funding bill for next year that has not yet been debated in the Senate.

Congress has passed bills in the past to stop the relatively small amount of U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia. But the Bush administration has found a way around the restrictions.

The main backer of the amendment, Democratic Party representative Anthony Weiner from New York State, says cutting off aid sends "a clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that they must be a true ally in advancing peace in the Middle East."

The Saudi Embassy in Washington has not commented on the proposed legislation.

Congressional officials say the United States provided $2.5 million to Riyadh in 2005 and 2006.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.