Riyadh– EU Parliamentarian and former French Justice Minister Rachida Dati said on Tuesday that France and Europe reject the controversial Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), describing it as a violation to international law and the principle of territorial sovereignty.
In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper before leaving King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Dati said that Saudi Arabia assumes an important role in promoting security and stability in the region, lauding the Kingdom’s long experience in fighting terrorism.
She also noted that the European Union was keen on promoting cooperation with Saudi Arabia to better learn from its effective strategies in facing terrorism, which is reflected in the successful work achieved by the Mohammed bin Naif Center for Counseling and Advice and King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue.
Commenting on the recent enactment of JASTA, the former justice minister said: “I believe that JASTA represents a violation to international law, as it threatens the principle of national sovereign immunity.”
She added that some French parliamentarians have tried to put JASTA on parliament’s table for discussion, but the French government strongly rejected such step, stressing that the law was unbalanced and incoherent with international laws.
Asked about the purpose of her visit to Saudi Arabia, Dati said that, as member in the EU Parliament, she has discussed with Saudi authorities the strategies used by the Kingdom to fight terrorism and extremism.
She added that she also tackled measures adopted by Saudi Arabia to promote transparency of financial transactions between Gulf States and the European Union, as well as the leading role assumed by the Kingdom in containing tensions and crises in the region.
Dati noted that during her meetings with high-ranking Saudi officials, she learned more about the “legendary and ambitious” program of “Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030”, stressing that the implementation of Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision would represent a major shift in the educational, cultural, economic and political sectors.
She also praised the role of Saudi women within the Shura Council and described her meeting with Saudi justice minister as productive and fruitful.