signs agreement that grants ICC-immunity to US soldiers
DEPARTMENT of STATE
DC, July 14, 2004 - The Undersecretary for Arms Control and International
Security, John R. Bolton, and the government of Eritrea, represented by
Ambassador Girma Asmerom in Washington, D.C., signed an Article 98 agreement in
the Department of State’s Treaty Room on July 8, 2004. Eritrea is the 92nd
country worldwide to sign an Article 98 agreement.
The United States is engaged in a worldwide effort to
conclude bilateral Article 98 agreements that would prohibit the surrender of
U.S. persons to the International Criminal Court. As a basic principle, the
United States believes that states, not international courts, are primarily
responsible for ensuring justice in the international system and that the best
way to combat serious offenses is to build domestic judicial systems and
strengthen political will.
The Rome Statute itself recognizes non-surrender
agreements, specifically in Article 98. Article 98 agreements also enable the
United States to continue military cooperation with friends and allies who are
States Parties to the Rome Statute.
Eritrea is committed to fighting global terrorism and it has
been a solid partner with the United States in that battle in the past. Eritrea
was one of the first nations to sign on as part of the "Coalition of the
Willing." The signing of Article 98 by the government of Eritrea is a
significant step forward in U.S. and Eritrea bilateral relations.
Released on July 13, 2004