The European Union (EU) on Saturday welcomed the removal of US sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) imposed by former US President Donald Trump.
Last year, the Trump administration approved ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and other senior officials to decide to investigate allegations of US war crimes in Afghanistan.
The new Biden administration announced on Friday that it was repeating these measures, urging a more collaborative relationship with this court following a dispute that set it apart from its allies.
“This significant step underscores the commitment of the United States to the international system,” said Josep Burrell, head of EU diplomacy, in a statement.
“The ICC plays an important role in bringing justice to the victims of some of the world’s most horrific crimes. Protecting the ICC’s impartiality and judicial independence is fundamental to its effectiveness and its own functioning,” he said.
Burrell indicated that the European Union was “stable in its support” for the Tribunal and for the “universality” of the Rome Statute, which created the ICC.
The United States, which did not sign the Rome Statute, supported specific international judicial initiatives to hold people accountable for war crimes or crimes against humanity, including the cases in the Balkans, Cambodia and Rwanda.
But the Biden administration continues to oppose investigations in Afghanistan, as well as in the case of alleged war crimes in Palestinian territories by Israeli ally, the United States.
Gambian Fatou Bensouda will step down in June and will be replaced by British lawyer Karim Khan, a human rights expert.
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