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Saudi warns of ‘disastrous consequences’ over US 9/11 law

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  • Post last modified:30/09/2016
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RIYADH: Following US Congress vote that suggested to override US President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a United States law that allows 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the KSA has warned of “disastrous consequences”, in a major spike in tension between the longstanding allies.

JASTA allows attack survivors and relatives of terrorism victims to pursue cases against foreign governments in US federal court and to demand compensation if such governments are proven to bear some responsibility for attacks on US soil.

A Saudi foreign ministry official on Thursday called on the US Congress “to take the necessary measures to counter the disastrous and dangerous consequences” of the law and said that the law is “a source of great worry.”

“This law weakens the immunity of states, and will have a negative impact on all countries including the United States,” the spokesman said, expressing hope that “wisdom will prevail.”

President Obama earlier opposed the law and said it would harm US interests by undermining the principle of sovereign immunity, opening up the US to private lawsuits over its military missions abroad.

A senior Saudi prince reportedly threatened to pull out billions of dollars of US assets if JASTA became law, though Saudi officials have distanced themselves from such threats.

Analysts have warned that Saudi Arabia could reduce valuable security and intelligence cooperation with ally Washington after the Congressional vote.