EU expresses concern over 9/11 bill

EU expresses concern over 9/11 bill
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The European Union on Wednesday expressed concern about the possible adoption by Congress of a bill that would allow U.S. citizens to sue Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which has bipartisan support and passed both houses of Congress, would amend the federal criminal code to permit lawsuits against foreign states and officials believed to be involved in terrorist attacks. 

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The White House is expected to veto it this week, arguing that the bill would lead to reciprocal lawsuits against U.S. citizens, but Congress is expected to attempt to override the veto. 

In a letter dated Sept. 19 obtained by The Hill, the EU said "the possible adoption and implementation of the JASTA would be in conflict with fundamental principles of international law and in particular the principle of State sovereign immunity." 

"State immunity is a central pillar of the international legal order. Any derogation from the principle of immunity bears the inherent danger of causing reciprocal action by other states and an erosion of the principle as such. The latter would put a burden on bilateral relations between states as well as on the international order," the EU said. 

The passage of JASTA came after suspicions that Saudi Arabia supported four of the 9/11 hijackers. Saudi Arabia has denied any support of the attack.