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US, President Biden Lifts Trump-Era Sanctions Against International Criminal Court

President Joe Biden said Friday he was revoking former President Donald Trump’s executive order authorizing sanctions against officials who investigated the U.S. and its allies at the International Criminal Court, saying the threat was not “an effective or appropriate strategy” to address concerns with the court.

Biden said in a notice to Congress that the U.S. continued to object to the ICC asserting jurisdiction over the U.S. or its allies absent their consent and would “vigorously protect current and former United States personnel.” But, Biden continued, “the threat and imposition of financial sanctions against the Court, its personnel, and those who assist” was not the best way to register those concerns.

As a result of the move, the U.S. will end sanctions imposed against ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, the Head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the Office of the Prosecutor, the State Department announced.

“These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

The move marks a reversal after the previous administration looked to punish the ICC in response to plans to investigate allegations of war crimes during the conflict in Afghanistan, as well as a possible inquiry into Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Trump administration officials accused ICC prosecutors of corruption, and said Russia attempted to influence the court to investigate the actions of American troops.

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