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Saudi Adviser: U.S. “Sponsors of Terrorism” Bill Could Fuel Extremism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir talks to the media during a meeting on Syria with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva, Switzerland May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

A senior Saudi policy adviser on Wednesday condemned the U.S. “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” known as JASTA bill, warning it would stoke instability and extremism.

The bill would allow families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue the kingdom for damages. The U.S. House of Representatives passed it on Friday.

JASTA would remove sovereign immunity, preventing lawsuits against governments, for countries found to be involved in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

The White House has threatened to veto the measure.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who crashed airliners in New York, outside Washington and in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001 were Saudi nationals, but the Saudi government has strongly denied responsibility and has lobbied against the bill.

“This legislation sets a dangerous precedent in the field of international relations,” Abdullah Al al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by state news agency SPA. Al al-Sheikh is the speaker of the Shura Council, an appointed body that debates new laws and advises the government on policy.

“(The bill risks) triggering chaos and instability in international relations and might contribute to supporting extremism, which is under intellectual siege, as the new legislation offers extremists a new pretext to lure youths to their extremist thoughts,” al-Sheikh added.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on May 2 that the kingdom had warned the United States that the proposed law would erode global investor confidence in America.

“In fact what they are doing is stripping the principle of sovereign immunities which would turn the world for international law into the law of the jungle,” Jubeir said.