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Saturday , October 19 2019

Kuwait concern on US ‘Terrorism Act’ – UAE, OIC join chorus of opposition

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 14, (Agencies): Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry expressed deep concerns on Monday over the adoption of a legislation by US Congress, which paves the way for suing foreign governments, known as the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.”

An official source at the Foreign Ministry said the law is not consistent with the foundations and principles of relations between states and comes in contradiction with the principle of sovereign immunity enjoyed by states, which is one of the established principles of international laws and norms and in accordance with the UN Charter.

The source expressed hope that this law would not be embraced because it represents a breach to international law and would have negative consequences on all countries, including the United States and its implications would bring chaos in international relations.

Last Friday, the US House unanimously passed the bill, which would allow victims of the Sept 11 attacks to sue foreign governments linked to terrorism in US courts. UAE is also concerned over the US Congress adoption of the law, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan voiced out Monday. In a statement carried by Emirate News Agency (WAM), Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said that “this law is not in consonance with the foundations and principles of relations among states, and represents a clear violation given its negative repercussions and dangerous precedents.”

He stressed that the UAE is looking forward to the US legislative authorities to reconsider this law for it has serious repercussion related to well-established international principles and relations. He warned against the negative impact of the law on all countries, including the United States, and the possible impact of chaos in the context of international relations, emphasizing that such laws will negatively affect international efforts and cooperation to combat terrorism. He concluded by saying that the UAE is looking to the US authorities to not endorse this law in order to ensure the maintenance of accepted interna- Euro/KD 0.3384 tional systems and principles.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani described the passage of the bill as ill advised. Madani said that in passing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, Congress disrupts international relations, threatens to plunge the world economy into a depression, weakens the necessary alliances that promote peace and security around the world, and compromises the war on terrorism.

Madani recalled the United States Chief Justice John Roberts opinion in the Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co (2013) case, warning of the danger of judicial interference in foreign policy action. All it will do, as the Chief Justice acknowledged, is to cause international discord and retaliatory reciprocity by nations around the world. The United States, the Secretary General added, plays a vital role around the world, consistent with its superpower status, to enhance peace and security.

It does so by working collaboratively with many nations, maintaining a global financial system, and sharing foreign intelligence. If the 9/11 Bill were to become law, it would remove the benefits of centuries old laws and international norms that promote the comity of nations, and plunge the world, one nation or region at a time, into chaos as each nation could pass reciprocal laws in retaliation that would weaken the protections that sovereignty and presumption against extraterritoriality legally provides to all people, of all nations. Chief Justice Roberts wisely said, “United States law governs domestically but does not rule the world.”

Madani added that for Congress to fall for political pandering that destabilizes the world and undermines the protections that Americans and others lawfully enjoy in a civilized world is baffling, as it is wrong. The OIC Secretary General expressed the hope that wisdom will prevail, and Congress would reconsider and recall this alarming Bill that threatens not only global peace and security, but also the fragile global economy.

A senior Saudi policy adviser on Wednesday condemned the bill warning it would stoke instability and extremism. JASTA would remove sovereign immunity, preventing lawsuits against governments, for countries found to be involved in terrorist attacks on US 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.

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