Itongadol.- U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone on Monday about the Palestinian request to join theInternational Criminal Court as well as recent developments in the world powers\’ negotiations with Iran, the White House said in a statement.
Obama, Netanyahu discuss Palestinian ICC bid, Iran talks
According to the statement, Obama "reiterated the United States’ position that the Palestinian Authority does not yet constitute a state and is therefore not eligible to accede to the Rome Statute."
Obama added that the U.S. does not believe that "Palestinian accession to the ICC is a constructive way forward," and "encourages both sides to seek ways to deescalate tensions."
On January 2, the Palestinian Authority submitted the documents ratifying the Rome Statute that established the court, a formal step toward becoming a member of the world\’s permanent war crimes tribunal.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saidlast week that Palestine will join the ICC on April 1, a high-stakes move that will enable the Palestinians to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.
Addressing the P5+1\’s negotiations with Iran, Obama told Netanyahu that the U.S. continues to seek a comprehensive agreement that prevents the Islamic Republic "from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program."
According to the statement, Obama stressed the U.S.\’ commitment to Israel\’s security and the importance of close cooperation with Jerusalem on the issue.