The ICC is investigating war crimes reportedly by the U.S. in Afghanistan and with Israel in Palestinian territories.
The United States on Friday lifted sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump on officials of the International Criminal Court investigating the U.S. and Israel for war crimes in Afghanistan and Palestine.
The action by President Joe Biden reverses one of the most aggressive moves by the previous administration to target international outlets, although Biden administration officials said the U.S. is still protesting against ICC sovereignty over the US.
“However, we believe that our concerns about these issues would be better addressed” through diplomacy “than through the imposition of sanctions,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. the recitation.
The ICC is a Hague-based organization created in 2002 to prosecute international claims about genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The United States is not one of the 120 member states of the court.
“Our support for the rule of law, access to justice, and accountability for the masses of the major U.S. national security interests is protected and advanced by communicating with the rest of the world to meet challenges today and tomorrow, “Blinken said.
Trump’s White House had imposed economic and travel sanctions against court officials in June 2020 saying ICC investigations into abuse in Afghanistan are “an attack on the rights of the American people and a threat to breach of our national sovereignty ”.
Trump’s sanctions had targeted ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the head of the court’s sovereignty, Phakiso Mochochoko, for pursuing investigations into the U.S. and Israel.
Consideration for the ICC on Friday said the court and its governing body of the member states welcomed the U.S. move.
Biden rights groups called for the lifting of Trump sanctions – called by Amnesty International as an “act of vandalism” against international justice – but called for Biden to go further, by backing to the work of the court and make the USA a member country.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton had expressed deep doubts about the ICC while former President Barack Obama had engaged in limited cooperation with him.
Israel is not a member of the ICC and, along with the US, opposed the accession of Palestine to the court in 2015 because it is not a state.
The ruling ICC in February sovereignty over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories opens the way for the ICC to investigate war crimes committed in the 2014 Israeli conflict -Palestine in the Gaza Strip under siege by Israeli military and Palestinian militant groups.