By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. on Friday hailed the International Criminal Court's (ICC) unanimous decision to reject a prosecutor's request to probe alleged crimes against humanity that could have involved American forces.
The court said in a statement that judges who declined to open the inquiry determined doing so "would not serve the interests of justice" after a prosecutor requested the matter be taken up in November 2017.
The court cited, in part, a lack of cooperation from parties involved, including the U.S., Taliban and Afghan government, which it said was likely to diminish if the case was approved.
"This is a major international victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law," U.S. President Donald Trump said in a statement following the court's decision. "We welcome this decision and reiterate our position that the United States holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards."
The Trump administration has taken a tough line against the ICC, which it is not party to, and threatened to deny visas for individuals responsible for investigating American forces.
The U.S. warned it would carry out tougher measures if the case went ahead, including imposing economic sanctions on the court.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the court's decision, saying it is "a victory for the rule of law and the integrity of the ICC as an institution, given the United States is not subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction."