12 September 2016
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday expressed concern over a bill adopted by the U.S. Congress that would allow families of victims of 9/11 sue the government of Saudi Arabia.
If it sails through and becomes law, it will allow families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the U.S. to take legal actions against Saudi Arabia.
The legislation “represents a clear violation given its negative repercussions and dangerous precedents,’’ state’s news agency WAM quoted UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan as saying in Abu Dhabi.
The minister said that the bill was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives last Friday; months after the Senate approved the measure in May.
He said that the bill was “not equal” with the foundations and principles of relations among states.
“The bill, which would allow victims’ families take legal actions against Saudi Arabia, a UAE close political ally, is contrary to general liability rules and the principle of sovereignty enjoyed by states,” he said.
Out of the 19 hijackers who executed the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, in Washington and in Pennsylvania, 15 were Saudi nationals.
The government of Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally, has denied responsibility and expressed strong objections to the legislation.
Al-Nahyan, a top UAE diplomat, expressed the hope that the U.S. law would not be implemented, taking into consideration its “serious consequences”.
The White House has said that President Barak Obama would veto the bill on the grounds that it could harm Washington’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and put U.S. officials stationed overseas in jeopardy.