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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Qatar against law that would allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

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Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2011 in NYC
Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2011 in NYC

Qatar has expressed “concern” over pending legislation in the US that would enable victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to sue governments of foreign countries.

In a statement, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official called the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism” act a violation of international law.

Specifically, the bill sets a “dangerous precedent” because it threatens the sovereign equality between states, he said, echoing comments made by the GCC earlier yesterday.

White House
White House

The legislation has so far met Senate approval, but the White House has threatened to veto the measure, a move supported by Qatar and the rest of the Gulf countries.

According to the Washington Post:

“President (Obama) has opposed the bill, which would let courts waive claims to foreign sovereign immunity in cases involving terrorist attacks on US soil, over fears that foreign governments might exploit the move to drag American officials into court.

Jurisdiction

However, Obama’s veto could be overridden by a two-thirds majority in the Senate and House of Representatives.

The law in question is largely targeted at Saudi Arabia, a key US ally.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who crashed planes in New York, outside Washington, DC and in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11 were Saudi citizens.

However, the Saudi government has denied responsibility for the attack and spoken out against the bill.

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