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Families of 9/11 Victims Ask New York Mayor to Rescind Approval of Saudi-Funded Golf Tournament Supposedly to Be Held at Trump Golf Course



CNN

Families of 9/11 victims are calling on New York City Mayor Eric Adams to rescind approval of a Saudi-funded golf tournament that is supposed to take place on a golf course owned by the Donald. Trump in New York in October.

The Aramco Team Series women’s golf tournament in question is scheduled to take place in New York from October 13-15, according to the tournament’s official website. The website does not indicate where in New York the tournament will take place, but washington post other The New York TimesCiting city officials, they said it will take place at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

“The 9/11 judge is asking New York City Mayor Adams to stay away from Ground Zero and all other 9/11 memorials and events unless his office renews its approval. of the Saudi-funded Aramco golf series coming to New York City in October. at Trump Links Course (Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point),” Brett Eagleson, an advocate for 9/11 families, said in a statement Friday.

CNN has reached out to the Trump Organization and Aramco Team Series for comment.

The request follows outcry from advocacy groups and the media that have called for support for LIV Golf tournaments to resume over Saudi Arabia’s alleged human rights violations and the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. It also comes weeks before the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in which accusations of complicity of the Saudi government have long been the subject of controversy in Washington.

The Aramco Team Series is a golf series funded by the Saudi Arabian state oil company, Aramco, the same organization that sponsors the LIV Golf tournament.

“The fact that this news is coming out less than two weeks before 9/11 right after the LIV tournament in Bedminster, I think the entire 9/11 community has had it,” Eagleson, whose father Bruce was killed in the attack to the World Trade Center, he told CNN on Saturday. “He’s atrocious, he’s in your face and he’s deaf.”

Trump, who has brushed aside criticism of LIV Golf, has benefited from his professional relationship with the golf tour, especially after PGA of America officials withdrew the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump’s Bedminster course. following the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol. During an interview with The Wall Street Journal last month, he spoke approvingly of how the golf tour has enhanced the kingdom’s reputation, calling it “a great thing for Saudi Arabia.”

Adams’ press secretary, Fabien Levy, told CNN, “While we do not agree with the values ​​of the Trump Organization, we cannot legally block its application.” New York City officials also said that the tournament was agreed upon during the administration of former Mayor Bill de Blasio and that the current administration cannot break the agreement.

“As the decision in the previous administration’s court case showed, the city is contractually obligated to follow the terms of the Trump Ferry license agreement and cannot unreasonably deny approval of this tournament,” said Nick Paolucci of the Department. Legal of the City of New York, to CNN on Friday.

Michael Cardozo, a former New York City Corporation counsel and current Proskauer partner, said the city is “bound to abide by the express terms of the contract it has entered into” and while he does not want the golf tournament to take place, if it does. Not giving him “the right to bar the Trump Organization from allowing the tournament to take place.”

Eagleson, who urged officials to cancel the LIV Golf Invitational Series backed by Saudi Arabia tournament held at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, last month, said he is not suggesting the city break any legal contracts, but rather that the city take a stronger position.

“I think the mayor should consider meeting with some members of the 9/11 community,” Eagleson said, adding that a meeting with the community would show he is willing to work with them to find a solution.

Accusations of the Saudi government’s complicity in the September 11, 2001, attacks have long been the subject of controversy in Washington. Fifteen of the 19 al Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four planes were Saudi nationals, but the Saudi government has denied any involvement in the attacks.

The 9/11 Commission established by Congress said in 2004 that it had found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually financed” Al Qaeda.

Still, the families of the victims have pushed for more revelations, and last year the FBI released a document detailing its work to investigate alleged logistical support that a Saudi consular officer and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles provided at least two kidnappers

Golf Saudi, owner of the Aramco Team Series, sponsors a monthly 30-minute golf show on CNN International.

CORRECTION: Updated headline and story to accurately characterize the role the New York City Mayor’s office played in approving the tournament request.

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