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Saudi Arabia warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

The bill will allow attack survivors and relatives of terrorism victims to pursue cases against foreign governments in US federal court and to demand compensation if such governments are proven to bear some responsibility for attacks on US soil. Photograph: (Getty)

Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia Sep 30, 2016, 12.02 AM (IST)

Saudi Arabia has warned of 'disastrous consequences' after the Unites States Congress voted to  override Obama's veto on a 9/11 bill which would now allow families of victims to sue the kingdom for damages.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) allows families of people killed in the September 11 terror attack to pursue cases against foreign governments in US federal court. They can also demand compensation if any government is found to be guilty.

A Saudi foreign ministry source on Thursday called on the US Congress "to take the necessary measures to counter the disastrous and dangerous consequences" of the law, AFP reported.

The unnamed spokesman, cited by the official Saudi Press Agency, said the law is "a source of great worry."

The weakening of the soverign immunity will have a negative impact on all nations, including the United States, the country's foreign ministrty said in a statement

The bill would expose the United States to lawsuits over its military missions from abroad, President Obama said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest called the Senate vote "the single most embarrassing thing" the legislative body has done in decades, AFP reported.

Analysts earlier Thursday warned that Saudi Arabia could reduce valuable security and intelligence cooperation with longstanding ally Washington after the Congressional "stab in the back."

"I'm afraid that this bill will have dire strategic implications" for the United States, Salman al-Ansari, head of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), told AFP.

The Saudi government has denied any links to the 9/11 attack. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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