Riyadh–Turkish Development Minister Lutfi Elvan said that Turkey and Saudi Arabia were examining practical measures to face the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which was adopted by the U.S. Congress in September.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Thursday, the Turkish minister said his country was studying legal measures to respond to JASTA, through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and with the support of some European countries. He also noted that the Turkish ministries of foreign affairs and justice were preparing a comprehensive study about the new American law.
“We cannot accept this law, which contradicts international principles and values,” Elvan said, adding that a whole country “cannot be accused of terrorism because of some attempts perpetrated by terrorists during the events of September 11, 2001.”
The Turkish minister stressed his country’s support to Saudi Arabia in this matter, adding that such law would directly harm the United States. He also noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the enactment of JASTA as a big mistake and announced his support to the Kingdom.
Elvan said he believed that Saudi Arabia and Turkey were mainly targeted as they both support peace and contribute to the establishment of security and stability in the region. He added that both countries have similar stances on Syria and Iraq.
The Turkish development minister arrived in Riyadh earlier this week on an official visit, during which he met with Saudi officials and businessmen and discussed means to promote mutual cooperation.
Elvan told Asharq al-Awsat that he met with the Saudi minister of Economy and Planning and the minister of Commerce and Investments, as well as a number of Saudi businessmen. He also said he was very optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s willingness to invest in his country, quoting a Saudi businessman as saying that around 150 Saudi companies were ready to invest in Turkey.
Commenting on the negative role played by Iran in the region, and its continuous support to terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain, the Turkish minister said that his country has many diverging views with Iran and stressed the need to work towards the implementation of stability and security in the region.