Washington (QNN)- U.S. president Donald Trump on Monday has officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967, in a move hailed as “historic” by Israel’s prime minister.
Trump’s decision, first announced last week, reverses decades of American policy and is starkly at odds with international law. But it is a valuable political gift to Netanyahu a few weeks before he faces voters in a closely fought election.
“Today I am taking historic action to promote Israel’s ability to defend itself,” Trump said, “and really to have a very powerful, very strong national security, which they’re entitled to have.”
Israel seized much of the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and then effectively annexed it in 1981, a move that was never recognized by the international community.
Syria’s foreign ministry called the US decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria, according to a statement carried by state news agency SANA.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it is impossible for Turkey to accept Trump’s decision on the Golan Heights.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it is “clear that the status of Golan has not changed,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.
“The UN’s policy on Golan is reflected in the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and that policy has not changed,” Dujarric said.
Meanwhile, Russia – which has been providing military support to President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict – warned the decree “could drive a new wave of tensions in the Middle East region”.