Blinken revokes sanctions on ICC officials imposed by Trump

Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Diplomats express 'frustration' to Blinken over Havana syndrome skepticism: report Biden's post-Afghanistan focus on China is mostly positive so far MORE on Friday announced the U.S. is revoking sanctions imposed by the former Trump administration on prosecutors and officials associated with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

“These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective,” Blinken said in a statement.

The sanctions were removed from ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, the head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the Office of the Prosecutor.

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The State Department further terminated separate visa restrictions imposed in 2019 on certain ICC personnel.

The Trump administration protested against ICC investigations into alleged war crimes by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and investigations of alleged war crimes by Israel against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

The sanctions imposed by the Trump State Department on ICC officials were listed under the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Individuals, measures most frequently used to target terrorists and drug traffickers.

The sanctions froze any assets held by the blacklisted persons in the U.S. and restricted Americans from dealing with them.

Blinken said the U.S. opposes the actions by the ICC in its investigations targeting the U.S. and Israel, but rejected that sanctions are an effective way to register such protest.

“We continue to disagree strongly with the ICC's actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations. We maintain our longstanding objection to the Court’s efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel,” he said in a statement.

“We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions.”