WASHINGTON – The United States on Tuesday suspended military assistance to nearly 50 countries, including Colombia and six nations seeking NATO membership, because they have supported the International Criminal Court and failed to exempt Americans from possible prosecution.
As the deadline passed for governments to sign exemption agreements or face the suspension of military aid, President Bush issued waivers for 22 countries.
But the 22 countries did not include Colombia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Colombia, where the government is fighting leftist guerrillas and drug traffickers, has been one of the largest recipients of U.S. military aid in the world.
A U.S. official said that if countries had ratified the treaty setting up the international court and had not received a waiver, the ban on military aid would apply.
But the threat, enshrined in the American Service Members Protection Act of 2002, does not apply to the 19 NATO members and to nine “major non-NATO allies.”
Based on the information initially available to Reuters, the countries subject to the suspension of military aid are:
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominica, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Nauru, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zambia.
The countries which received presidential waivers are:
Albania, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, East Timor, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Honduras, Macedonia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nigeria, Panama, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan and Uganda.