Families of 9/11 victims ask New York City mayor to revoke approval of Saudi-funded golf tournament said to be held at Trump golf course

According to the tournament’s official website, the women’s golf tournament in the Aramco Women’s Series is scheduled to be held from October 13 to 15. The website does not indicate where the tournament will be located in New York, but Washington Post And the New York timesCiting city officials, they reported that it will be held at the Trump Golf Links at Fairy Point in the Bronx.

“September 11 Justice calls on New York City Mayor Adams, to stay away from Ground Zero and any and all other 9/11 memorials and events unless his office revokes its approval of the Saudi-funded Aramco golf chain coming to New York City in October at Trump Links (Trump Golf Links). at Fairy Point),” 9/11 advocate Brett Eggelson families said in a statement Friday.

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

The request follows a protest by advocacy groups and the media calling for the cancellation of support for LIV Golf tournaments 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 September 11 terrorist attacks. Allegations of Saudi government collusion It has long been the subject of contention in Washington.

The Aramco Team Series is a golf chain funded by the Saudi state oil company Aramco, the same organization that sponsors the Leaf Golf Championship.

“The fact that this news was revealed less than two weeks before 9/11 in the aftermath of the LIV tournament in Bedminster, I just think the entire 9/11 community has been exposed to it,” Eggelson, whose father Bruce was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center , to CNN on Saturday. “It’s horrible, it’s in your face and on a deaf tone.”

Trump, who has ignoring criticism From LIV Golf, from his professional relationship with tour golf, especially after officials with the PGA of America withdrew the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump Bidminster Course after the January 6, 2021 mutiny at the US Capitol. During an interview with The Wall Street Journal Last month, he spoke approvingly of how a round of golf has improved the kingdom’s reputation, calling it “a great thing for Saudi Arabia”.

City says he can’t break the deal

“While we disagree with the Trump Organization’s values, we cannot legally prevent their application,” Adams press secretary Fabian Levy told CNN. 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 shows, the city is contractually obligated to follow the terms of the Trump Ferry license agreement and cannot unreasonably withhold approval for this tournament,” Nick Paolucci of the New York City Department of Law told CNN Friday.

Michael Cardoso, a former New York City Company advisor and current partner at Proskauer, said the city is “obligated to comply with the express terms of the contract it has entered into” and while it does not want to hold a golf tournament, it does. Not granting it “the right to prevent the Trump Organization from allowing the tournament to take place.”

eagleson, from Administrators urged to cancel The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series The tournament, which was held at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, last month, said he was not suggesting the city would break any legal contracts but that the city would take a stronger stance.

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

Allegations of Saudi government complicity in the September 11, 2001 attacks have long been a bone of contention in Washington. Fifteen of the 19 al-Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four Saudi planes, the Saudi government denied any involvement in the attacks.

The 9/11 Commission, set up by Congress in 2004, said it found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” al-Qaeda.

However, victims’ families lobbied for more disclosures, and last year the FBI released a document detailing its work to investigate alleged logistical support provided by a Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles to at least two. kidnappers.

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

Correction: The title and story have been updated to accurately describe the role the New York City Mayor’s Office played in approving the tournament’s application.

Chandelles Duster, Liam Reilly and Michael Warren of CNN contributed to this report.

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