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US Treasury Reveals Saudi Arabia Holds $116Bln in US Debt

Saudi Arabia holds $116.8 billion in US debt, making it among the top dozen foreign nations with US holdings.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of the Treasury has revealed that Saudi Arabia holds $116.8 billion in US debt, making it among the top dozen foreign nations with US holdings, according to media reports on Monday.

The Treasury Department released the information in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Bloomberg News, the outlet reported. The department had kept information on Saudi-held US debt confidential for 42 years, according to the report.

The report noted, however, that the Treasury Department’s figures may not account for all of the money held by Saudi Arabia.

President Barack Obama, right, meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Washington - Sputnik International
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Riyadh has about $587 billion in foreign reserves, and most nations hold about two-thirds of reserves in US dollars, the Treasury Department explained.

Saudi officials threatened last month to sell $570 billion in US debt if US lawmakers approve a bill that would allow the kingdom to be held responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States.

Until it responded to the FOIA request, the Treasury Department had grouped Saudi holdings in with 14 other nations, most of which are members of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which held $281 billion in US debt as of February.

The Saudi economy has been under increased pressure due to declining global oil prices, and the relationship between Riyadh and Washington has appeared strained in the last year over the US nuclear deal with Iran, as well as the possibility of lawsuits by families of people who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

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