US withdrawal from Vienna treaty protocol irks Ramallah

RAMALLAH, Palestine

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Thursday blasted the U.S. administration’s stated intention to withdraw from an “optional protocol” of the 1969 Vienna Convention.

“This administration is willfully disrupting and undermining the international order because of its blind support for Israel’s illegal, colonialist policies,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The current U.S. administration believes it is above the law and beyond accountability,” it added.

On Wednesday, the U.S. ceased to recognize an amendment to the 1969 Vienna Convention on dispute resolution following a Palestinian decision to sue Washington in an international court.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said the U.S. “will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought against us”.

The move comes after Palestine filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice against Washington’s recent decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

According to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry statement, “Palestine has exercised its right to defend itself through legal means by resorting to the International Court of Justice on the issue of the illegal U.S. embassy move to our capital, Jerusalem”.

The ministry went on to assert that the Palestinian leadership would defend the rights of the Palestinian people “against all threats posed by Israel’s illegal and colonialist policies and the states that support them”.

“Our actions are anchored in our commitment to — and respect for — international law and existing international resolutions,” the statement read.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision late last year to relocate Washington’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem evoked widespread criticism.

Ever since, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has rejected any U.S. role in the stumbling Middle East peace process.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.