World Leaders Blast Trump’s Call to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

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22 March 2019, 21:16

World leaders are criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, VOA reports.

Syria’s foreign ministry said Friday Trump’s announcement is “irresponsible” and does not change “the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian.” A foreign ministry source told Syria’s official news agency SANA the announcement “clearly reflects the United States’ contempt for international legitimacy and its flagrant violation of U.S. law.”

The Golan Heights were captured by Israel in 1967’s Six-Day War and have been controlled by Israel since then.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Trump’s announcement has brought the region “to the brink of a new crisis and new tensions.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul that Israel’s “systematic attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque for years” is proof Israel has no respect for beliefs and holy places or tolerance for living together.” Cavusoglu added that “U.S. President Donald Trump’s unacceptable comments on the Golan Heights feed this warped mentality.”

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit also criticized the announcement, saying, “No country, no matter how important it is, can make such a decision.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of six Arab monarchies, said Trump’s statement “will not change the reality that … the Arab Golan Heights is Syrian land occupied by Israel by military force” and undermines “the chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace.”

Egypt’s foreign ministry denounced Trump’s statement, citing U.N. Security Council resolution 497, which rejects Israel’s annexation of the territory. The ministry emphasized that global leaders “should respect the resolutions of international legitimacy and the United Nations Charter in respect of the inadmissibility of acquiring land by force.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif predicted, “The personal decisions of Trump … will lead to crisis in the region.”

The European Union emphasized it does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed area. “The position of the EU has not changed,” an EU spokeswoman told Reuters.

Russia expressed hope that Trump’s call for recognition of Israel’s sovereignty would not be enacted. “It is just a call for now,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Trump made the announcement Thursday via Twitter, maintaining the Golan Heights “is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”