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US withdraws from Vienna Convention, Treaty of Amity

Oct. 5, 2018 4:13 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2018 12:21 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The United States National Security Adviser, John Bolton, announced the US Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the optional protocol in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

Bolton announced that the US withdrawing from the optional protocol in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 in connection to a case brought forward by the State of Palestine, challenging the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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

He said "I am announcing that the president has decided that the United States will withdraw from the optional protocol and dispute resolution to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations."

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

The decision will see the US opting out of having to attend the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of disputes as outlined in Article I of the "Optional Protocol Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes."

Article I states "Disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of the Convention shall lie within the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and may accordingly be brought before the Court by an application made by any party to the dispute being a party to the present Protocol."

Bolton was asked why the US did not recognize Palestine as an existing state yet, he responded by saying that currently Palestine "does not meet the international law test of statehood."

As of August 2018, 137 out of 193 United Nations member states along with another two non-member states have recognized Palestine as an independent state, however, the US along with Israel, Australia, Mexico, Canada and several others have not.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US administration also decided to withdraw from the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran, response to the ICJ ordering the US to lift sanctions on Iran which are linked to humanitarian goods and civil aviation.

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