US 'strongly opposes' Palestinian ICC membership

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (R) delivers a speech as he holds the arm of a girl flashing the sign for victory on December 31, 2014The United States said Wednesday it “strongly opposes” a request from the Palestinian Authority to join the International Criminal Court, fearing this will further delay peace talks with Israel. “It would be counterproductive and would do nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state,” the State Department said. Earlier, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas had signed requests for his authority to join 20 international conventions, including that governing the world’s top criminal court, a step on the road to statehood. Washington supports the Palestinians’ quest for a state, but sides with its ally Israel insisting that they not take unilateral steps in this direction before reaching a peace deal with their neighbor.

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