US exits Vienna Convention annex over Palestinian suit

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – The United States on Wednesday exited an amendment to the Vienna Convention focused on dispute resolution following Palestine's decision to sue Washington in an international court.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said the U.S. "will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought against us” after Palestine initiated a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice for Washington's decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem.

Despite exiting the agreement's "optional protocol" Bolton maintained Washington would remain a party to the wider Vienna Convention.

Bolton cited past "politicized suits" against the U.S., as well as a case before the UN's top court that was ruled in favor of Iran earlier Wednesday, saying Washington "will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose the United States to purported binding jurisdiction dispute resolution in the International Court of Justice."

The Palestinian Authority lawsuit challenges the U.S. relocation on the basis of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and UN Security Council resolutions.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki defended the suit, saying Palestine would "defend our rights and our people without hesitation, rejecting all forms of political and financial extortion."

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to establish the U.S. diplomatic headquarters in Jerusalem from its former location in Tel Aviv evoked widespread international criticism.

Palestinians have since refused any role for the U.S. under Trump in peace talks with Israel, citing the decision as the president prepares to roll out his administration's long-promised peace plan.

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