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Saudi Mission Non-Saudi Staff Denied Health Insurance, Did Kerry Raise Obamacare?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 -- While US Secretary of State John Kerry met Sunday with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Saud who expressed support for Saudi-supported Syria rebel boss Ahmad al Jarba, there's another topic that Kerry should have mentioned.

  Inner City Press has learned from sources in Saudi Arabia's mission to the UN of mis-treatment of non-Saudi employees there, including leaving them without medical insurance. Surely the Obama administration would take this seriously, no?

  But Inner City Press had been shown a contract by which Saudi Arabia provides Aetna health insurance only to its Saudi employees (as well as to Saudi nationals who are students in the US), but NOT to non-Saudi employees of its Mission in New York.

  Would Obamacare apply to this and other missions? Is Kerry raising that issue? The sources also describe the Saudi mission's refusal to pay overtime; they say that "house rent allowance" is discriminatory between Saudi and non-Saudi employees of the Mission.

  Another irony: Saudi Arabia is running for the UN Human Rights Council in November 2013.

The contract seen by Inner City Press provides that the Mission shall pay to its Saudi employees "compulsory social and medical insurances [sic] imposed by the regulations of the hosting country."

In this case, the Host Country is the US; one questions is whether Saudi Arabia is violating the terms of it having a mission in the US.

 But Saudi Arabia is supporting Ahmad al Jarba, set to hold a second faux UN briefing on Wednesday with the UN's Censorship Alliance, a topic on the UN refuses to comment, even as it cancels its normal noon briefing on Tuesday, protested by the Free UN Coalition for Access, @FUNCA_info. More on that here. Watch this site.

From the Waldorf = Astoria Hotel, the State Department provided this read-out:

The Secretary met one-on-one, then, with Foreign Minister Saud of Saudi Arabia. And that discussion, they had a discussion of a broad range of issues, including Syria, in which the Foreign Minister reiterated Saudi Arabiaís strong support for the U.S.-Russia framework agreement, as well as for moving on the political track with the SOC, and especially that Saudi Arabia supports the Syrian Opposition Coalition moving to the Ė to Geneva on the political track.

Then

Q: Is Secretary Kerry meeting with al-Jabra [sic] while heís here?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thatís the goal. It hasnít been scheduled yet, but thatís a scheduling issue as opposed to anything else.


 

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