In the first-ever visit by a US secretary of state to the Golan Heights, Pompeo said he chose to go to Golan Heights to “tell the world that the US has it right, that Israel has it right, that each nation has the right to defend its sovereignty.”
“We will make sure Israel has what it needs to do just that,” he added. “We will honor the right to defend your people.”
“You can’t stand here and stare out at what’s across the border and deny the central thing that President Donald Trump recognized, what the previous presidents have refused to do,” Pompeo said, referring to Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the area last year.
He said, “This is a part of Israel and central part of Israel.”
President Donald Trump last year officially recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan heights. Pompeo also stated last year the US would not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank as a violation of International law.
Israeli FM Ashkenazi hailed Pompeo for recognizing “the strategic importance of the Golan Heights,” stating that because Pompeo has served as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, “he knows the facts, but he insisted to come, to see first hand.”
ביקרתי יחד עם מזכיר המדינה האמריקאי, מייק פומפאו וצוותו, ברמת הגולן.
במהלך הביקור קיבל מזכיר המדינה סקירה מדינית ובטחונית על האתגרים הביטחוניים בגבול הצפוני של ישראל מול סוריה ולבנון, על השפעת איראן על בנות בריתה בסוריה ועל החיזבאללה. pic.twitter.com/GxxyZFwIWk
— גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) November 19, 2020
Before visiting the Golan Heights, Pompeo visited the illegal Israeli settlement of Psagot in the occupied West Bank, where he declared a new policy of allowing products from the settlements to be labeled as ‘made in Israel.’