U.S. Quits Vienna 'Optional Protocol' to Keep Palestine From Suing it Over Embassy Move

Published October 4th, 2018 - 12:15 GMT
US National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on October 3, 2018. (Mandel NGAN / AFP)
US National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on October 3, 2018. (Mandel NGAN / AFP)
The United States has pulled out of the “optional protocol” under the 1961 Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations to keep the Palestinians from suing the US government at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced on Wednesday.

“This is in connection with a case brought by the so-called State of Palestine naming the United States as a defendant, challenging our move of our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” he stressed.

The Vienna Convention is an international treaty setting out diplomatic relations between states. It is often cited as a means to provide diplomatic immunity.

The Palestinians argued that the US government’s placement of its embassy in Jerusalem violated an international treaty and that it should be moved.

Dr. Omar Awadallah, head of public administration for UN human rights organizations at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the PA is not surprised from the US move.
 


“We have reviewed all the scenarios when we decided to sue the United States for its illegal move. One of these scenarios is the withdrawal of the United States out of fear that it will be prosecuted before the most important judicial body in the United Nations,” he explained.

“This withdrawal will not change anything. It will not prevent us from continuing to sue the United States, and presumably does not affect the case,” Awadallah said.

"When the United States received the case, it was a member of the protocol, and we are convinced that justice will be served," he added.

The ICJ confirmed on Friday that it had received a complaint from the Palestinian State against the United States.

Notably, US President Donald Trump announced in September that he had decided to relocate the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and opened the embassy in May there.

Palestine demands that the court order the United States to withdraw its diplomatic mission from Jerusalem.
 
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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