Qatar slams US ‘state sponsors of terrorism’ bill

– Following Saudi lead, Doha says controversial legislation threatens ‘immunity of sovereign states’
 – Qatar on Wednesday slammed proposed legislation in the U.S. that would allow the families of victims of terrorist attacks to sue the foreign governments deemed responsible, reported Anadolu Agency.At a meeting of Qatar’s council of ministers chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatari officials described the bill as “a violation of the principle of immunity of sovereign states” and a “dangerous precedent in international relations”, Qatar’s official news agency reported.

Entitled the Justice against State Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, the bill is supported by the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington who hope to sue the Saudi government for its alleged role in the attacks.

Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of overriding President Barack Obama’s earlier veto of the bill.

Shortly afterward, Saudi Arabia expressed its “serious concern” over the proposed legislation.

“The adoption of such a law should be a source of great concern to countries that object to the notion of weakening sovereign immunity — a principle that has guided international relations for hundreds of years,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted a Saudi Foreign Ministry source as saying.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had joined Saudi officials in voicing apprehension about the legislation.

“We expressed disapproval of the adaptation of the 9/11 victims bill,” Erdogan said.