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Saudi Arabia: JASTA Violates States Sovereignty and Contradicts U.N. Charter | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man arrives at the World Trade Center complex on the morning of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 11, 2016. (Andrew Kelly / Reuters)

Jeddah-Saudi Minister of Justice Sheikh Dr. Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani has lashed out at the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), saying it violates the principles of law and states’ sovereignty.

In a statement issued on Friday, the minister said JASTA, which was passed recently by the U.S. Congress, is a clear violation of all international norms as well as the principle of sovereign equality between states protected in the U.N. Charter.

Sheikh Al-Samaani warned of the dangers of politicizing laws, adding that by passing this bill, the U.S. congress is acting as if its judiciary was the world’s center of prosecution, dealing with states as individuals.

“Such a behavior was never witnessed in the history of international relations and will be a dangerous precedent and a serious breach of the rules and basic principles of international law,” the minister’s statement said.

Sheikh Al-Samaani also said that JASTA would trigger chaos in international relations, and would upset mutual trust between states and adversely affect all areas of international cooperation.

The U.S. act allows the families of those killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks to use the U.S. courts to ask for compensation from states whose nationals are involved in the attacks.

But, the Saudi Justice Minister said he hoped that the U.S. Congress would listen to the voices calling for reconsidering this act. “This law would harm the U.S. by disturbing trust between Washington and other states,” he said.