09/13/2016, 12.10
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Gulf monarchies against US norm attributing 9/11 attacks

After the Senate, even the US House passes the bill that allows the relatives of the victims to sue states. For the GCC secretary general the norm contradicts "the foundations and the principles of international relations". Obama geared to veto the law; but two-thirds of both Houses may reverse the decision.


Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Gulf oil monarchies are concerned about a law passed by the US Congress, which allows relatives of Sept. 11 victims to sue the countries suspected of having supported the attacks, including Saudi Arabia.

In a statement released yesterday Abdullatif al-Zayani, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), confirms the "deep concern" of the six member countries of the group, of which Riyadh is the most important member.

To GCC leaders believe  the norm "contradicts the foundations and principles of relations between States" and, in particular, targets " judicial immunity." The Secretary-General of the block also hopes that the US administration "will not pass this bill" that "will set a serious precedent" and "will have a negative impact" in international relations.

The US House gave the go ahead on September 9, with a unanimous vote, to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. Their colleagues in the Senate had already approved the law four months ago; the ball is in the US President’s court now  Barack Obama  is responsible for signing its definitive entry into force.

White House sources have already leaked the news that the president's veto will fall on the law. However, it may be overcome by a joint vote of both Houses that has at least two-thirds of the votes of deputies and senators.

Abdullatif al-Zayani expressed the hope that the US administration "will not pass this bill ... that will eventually create a serious precedent."

It would mean that the United States "will fight terrorism by all available means" and that victims of terrorist attacks "in our country will have the opportunity to use the courts and obtain justice."

Saudi Arabia is a long standing ally of the United States. 15 of the 19 bombers who carried out the September 11 attacks in the United States, which killed about 3 thousand people, come from the Wahhabi kingdom. However, direct links to Riyadh in the attacks have never emerged.

Also yesterday, two nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council - Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - have issued notes strongly criticizing the law. Abdallah Ben Zayed Al-Nahayan, foreign minister of the Emirates, said that such a law - even targets Iran, regarded by the US as "chief sponsor" of terrorism in 2015 – and will have "a negative impact on international cooperation in the fighting terrorism. "

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