Bolton To Set Out Tough U.S. Stance On International Criminal Court


"We will not cooperate with the ICC, we will provide no assistance to the ICC, and we certainly will not join the ICC - we will let the ICC die on its own".

It has been USA policy to oppose Palestinian attempts to bring Israel before the ICC.

He also cited a recent move by Palestinian leaders to have Israeli officials prosecuted at the ICC for human rights violations.

The Bolton speech today isolates the United States from worldwide criminal justice and severely undermines our leadership in bringing perpetrators of atrocity crimes to justice elsewhere in the world....

"The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel", Bolton said on Monday.

The possibility that the International Criminal Court might prosecute USA citizens for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and a Palestinian attempt to hold Israel to account at the ICC are reported to have prompted the United States to move against the court.

The Trump administration announced Monday that it will close the main office for the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C.

National Security Advisor John Bolton will assert USA opposition to the ICC probe in a speech, a draft of which was seen by the news agency.

Washington's decision is the latest move by US President Donald Trump's administration to close and defund pro-Palestinian institutions. The organization opened the office in 1994 and went on to join the ICC after receiving observer state status at the United Nations in 2012.

Congress in 2015 mandated that the PLO mission be shut if the Palestinians initiate or support an investigation by the court against Israelis.

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"The International Criminal Court unacceptably threatens American sovereignty and U.S. national security interests", he said during a speech at a Washington think tank. There is potential for the USA to sanction judges, prosecutors and those who cooperate with such a probe. "We will sanction their funds in the United States financial system, and we will prosecute them in the USA criminal system", he said. "We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans".

"After years of effort by self-styled global governance advocates, the ICC a supranational tribunal that could supersede national sovereignties and directly prosecute individuals for alleged war crimes was agreed in 1998". The two-state solution envisions an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, with the boundaries negotiated in talks between the parties.

Speaking at the Federalist Society Monday, National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed the court is opposed to our nation's ideals and affirmed the USA will not cooperate with it.

The court has burned through $1.5 billion in funding and secured only eight convictions since its inception.

"In fact, despite ongoing ICC investigations, atrocities continue to occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and many other nations." he added.

But the Palestinians have cut all contacts with Washington, citing a series of decisions made by Mr Trump that they say favour Israel, most importantly the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem announced in December that gave USA recognition to the contested city as Israel's united capital.

Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO mission in Washington, told journalists in Ramallah that the closure was "to protect Israel from war crimes.".

The United States had permitted the PLO to maintain an office in Washington as part of an effort to broker a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestine Liberation Organization, commonly known as the PLO, formally represents all Palestinians.

During a speech in Washington, Bolton blamed the Palestinian Authority for failing to take "meaningful steps" to advance peace.