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October 4, 2018 9:55 am

Bolton Clarifies at Briefing: Palestine ‘Is Not a State’

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National Security Adviser John Bolton. Photo: Reuters / Joshua Roberts. – US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that Palestine “is not a state” but a “so-called state.”

Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room, Bolton said that denying Palestine statehood is not counter-intuitive leading up to the Trump administration’s soon-to-be unveiled Middle East peace plan.

“It’s not a state now. It does not meet the customary international law test of statehood,” he said. “It doesn’t control defined boundaries. It doesn’t fulfill normal functions of government. There are a whole host of reasons why it’s not a state.”

“It could become a state, as the president said, but that requires diplomatic negotiations with Israel and others,” he added.

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Moreover, the national security adviser announced that the United States will withdraw from an amendment of the Vienna Convention to prevent the Palestinians from suing the US government at the International Court of Justice, which earlier on Wednesday ruled that America must lift humanitarian-related sanctions that were reimposed after the US withdrew in May from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“The president has decided that the United States will withdraw from the optional protocol and dispute resolution to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations,” said Bolton. “This is in connection with a case brought from the so-called State of Palestine naming the United States as a defendant, challenging our move of our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Bolton also slammed the ICJ’s decision against the United States regarding Iran sanctions.

“Our actions today deal with the treaties and current litigation involving the United States before the International Court of Justice,” he said. “Given this history, and Iran’s abuse of the ICJ, we will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose the United States to purported binding jurisdiction and dispute resolution in the International Court of Justice.”

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