President Joseph Biden on Friday revoked a Trump-era executive order issued after the ICC announced it was investigating alleged war crimes committed by all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, including the United States.
Decree 13928 of June 11, 2020 imposed economic sanctions on ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the head of the Competence, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, Phakiso Mochochoko. A separate 2019 policy regarding visa restrictions on certain court staff has also been removed.
These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective, US Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken said in a statement.
In welcoming the decision, the Secretary-General noted that the ICC plays an important role in promoting accountability for international crimes, his spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement on Saturday.
Ready to re-engage
The court, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, prosecutes the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
It was established in July 1998 under a treaty known as the Rome Statute, which more than 120 countries have signed. The United States is not a party to the treaty.
The ICC also issued a statement on Saturday welcoming the developments in Washington.
The court is aware that the United States has traditionally made significant contributions to the cause of international criminal justice, the statement said.
The Court stands ready to reconnect with the United States in the continuation of this tradition based on mutual respect and constructive engagement.
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