John Bolton to take tough stance against ICC

National Security Advisor John Bolton visits Kyiv Ukraine on Aug. 24 2018

However, no United States peace plans have yet to be put forward even as Trump has promised an "ultimate deal", a proposal the administration says is being led by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior aide. Erekat said the Palestinians will continue to push for that, which Nauert also cited as a reason for the US decision to shut down the office.

"President Donald Trump is closing the Palestine Liberation Organization's mission in Washington, the latest USA blow against the Palestinians and an global court during the stalled Mideast peace process", writes the Associated Press. "As such, and reflecting congressional concerns, the Administration has decided that the PLO office in Washington will close at this point".

The Trump administration plans to announce on Monday that it is shutting down the Palestine Liberation Organization's office in Washington, D.C., another sign of US support for Israel and a move that furthers a pressure crusade against Palestine, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday morning. Countries that cooperate with ICC prosecutions against the United States and its allies risk losing foreign aid.

The ICC was established by the Rome Statute in 2002, but the U.S. did not ratify it as President George W Bush opposed the body. We will certainly not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. "We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the court's sweeping powers, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute".

Bolton's speech, on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, came as an ICC judge was expected to soon announce a decision on a request from prosecutors to formally open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, and us forces and intelligence in Afghanistan since May 2003.

The Trump administration notified the Palestinians a year ago it will shutter their office in Washington unless they enter serious peace talks with Israel. A provision in a USA law says the PLO mission must close if the peace process does not go forward.

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"The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel", he is planned to add.

"Such a reckless act confirms that the administration is blindly executing Israel's 'wish list, ' which starts with shutting down Palestinian diplomatic representation in the United States", he said in a statement.

Reaction in Ramallah were harsh.

Under long-standing USA law, permission for the PLO to maintain its mission in Washington must be renewed every six months.

Bolton pointed to an ICC prosecutor's request in November 2017 to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the U.S. military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan, especially over the abuse of detainees.

"We stand firm in our decision not to cooperate in this ongoing campaign to liquidate our rights and cause". The White House has not said when the office will officially shutter.

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"There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan", Bensouda said at the time.

Bolton also signaled that the administration was actively evaluating its participation in other multilateral institutions like the World Trade Organization, from which President Trump has previously threatened to withdraw.

The Trump administration had told the Palestinians last November that closure could be expected unless they agreed to sit to down with the Israelis.

The move comes on the heels of a series of blows dealt by the administration to Palestinians.

On Saturday, it was announced President Trump had cut $25million in aid for Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals, with that cash sent instead to 'high-priority projects elsewhere'.

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