21:49 GMT07 August 2020
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    GENEVA (Sputnik) – Switzerland expressed regret over the US decision to target employees of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with sanctions and called on Washington to left the restrictions, the Federal Council said in a statement.

    "Switzerland is concerned about the additional visa restrictions and new economic sanctions, which the United States has imposed on ICC employees, their families, and natural and legal persons who support investigations against American citizens. Switzerland calls on the US to revoke these comprehensive measures", the statement issued on late Friday said.

    The Swiss cabinet reaffirmed its support for the ICC as an independent body that is investigating the most serious crimes, and making contribution to international stability and security.

    "The ICC can only initiate investigations against individuals where national legal systems are unwilling or unable to genuinely carry out proceedings. Switzerland, therefore, calls on the United States to conduct a full investigation and prosecution of US personnel implicated in such crimes, as they stated again yesterday in Washington", the government added.

    On Thursday, the White House announced that US President Donald Trump had issued an executive order authorizing sanctions against ICC officials who are investigating potential war crimes committed by US soldiers and other personnel in Afghanistan. The Court has expressed regret over the decision to target its officials with sanctions and vowed to continue its work.

    In March, the ICC approved the commencement of an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by parties to the Afghan conflict, including US personnel. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the decision as "breathtaking" and "reckless', while reaffirming his intention to ensure US citizens remain outside the jurisdiction of what he called a renegade and unlawful court.

    Tags:
    sanctions, United States, ICC, Switzerland
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