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Saudis recruit legal muscle for leverage in US nuclear negotiations

Saudi Arabia has hired an international law firm to help negotiate a more favorable civil nuclear agreement with Washington amid pushback in Congress.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih arrives to attend the Saudi-US CEO Forum 2017, ahead of the arrival of the U.S. President Donald Trump, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed - RC15167D9800
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Saudi Arabia has hired an international law firm specializing in energy regulation in its efforts to extract a favorable agreement on civil nuclear cooperation from the United States.

Newly published lobbying disclosures reveal that the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources hired Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in the past few days to “advise” it on “a potential bilateral agreement with the United States concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” The firm will also provide Riyadh with guidance on “related legal matters concerning the development of a commercial nuclear program.” The deal is for an initial term of approximately 30 days and billing comes to $890 per hour.

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