Trump provokes global anger by recognising Israel’s claim to Golan Heights

March 27, 2019

Syria has vowed to retake the Golan Heights as Donald Trump’s call for the US to recognise the occupied territory as part of Israel elicited strong responses from Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

The president ended half a century of US foreign policy and broke from post-second world war international consensus that forbids territorial conquest during war with a tweet on Thursday that said it was time “to fully recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights”.

Trump said the territory was “of critical strategic and security importance to the state of Israel and regional stability”.

Israeli troops took control of the volcanic plateau from Syria in the six-day war in 1967 and later annexed it, moves that were condemned by the UN security council and never internationally recognised.
Syrian state media said on Friday that the country was now “more determined to liberate it by all possible means no matter what,” citing a foreign ministry source. Damascus said Trump’s statement showed “the blind bias of the United States” towards Israel but would not change “the fact that the Golan was and will always be a Syrian Arab territory”
Syria’s allies Russia and Iran also lambasted Washington. Iran said the announcement was “illegal and unacceptable”, and Russia pointed out that a change of the status of the Golan Heights would be a direct violation of UN resolutions.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters the comments “can destabilise the already fragile situation in the Middle East”.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, warned on Friday that Trump’s “unfortunate” declaration had brought the region “to the brink of a new crisis and new tensions”.

“We will never allow the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights,” he said.

European powers also warned of the potential damage to international order.

The French foreign ministry said: “The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, occupied territory, would be contrary to international law, in particular the obligation for states not to recognise an illegal situation.”
Germany’s government condemned what it said were “unilateral steps”. “If national borders should be changed it must be done through peaceful means between all those involved,” spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said.

Source: The Guardian

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