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EU supports ICC referral on Palestine

BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (KUNA) -- The European Union voiced its support on Monday to referral of the situation in Palestine at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"Our support for the ICC has not changed. The EU continues to support ICC.
This is an independent and impartial judicial institution, which has no political objectives to pursue. We respect the court's independence and impartiality," EU spokesman for foreign affairs and security policy Peter Stano told a news conference here today.
"It is the duty of the ICC prosecutor to investigate all alleged crimes in specific situation, no matter where they happen," he added.
On Friday, the Hague-based ICC said that it has received a referral of the Situation in the State of Palestine, from five States Parties: South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti.
"In receiving the referral, my Office confirms that it is presently conducting an investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine," said ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan.
Meanwhile, Stano said that Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 27-member European Union will hold an informal video teleconference Monday evening to discuss the situation in the Gaza strip and the region.
He noted that EU High Representative will brief the ministers on the outcome of his visit to the Gulf and Middle East from 16 to 20 November The spokesman clarified that there is one change in the agenda which is that Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs , Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, will not be participating in the video conference as announced earlier.
The Saudi foreign minister is currently leading a delegation of Foreign ministers from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in China, he said.
Moreover, Prince Faisal will be attending in person the next EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels in December, he added. (end) nk.mb