US move on Golan Heights ‘unlawful’: Turkish FM

US move on Golan Heights ‘unlawful’: Turkish FM

TEKIRDAĞ/WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
US move on Golan Heights ‘unlawful’: Turkish FM

Turkey does not recognize the “unlawful” U.S. decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights in Syria, the Turkish foreign minister said on March 27.

Speaking in northwestern Tekirdağ province, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the U.S. move is “null and void” that violates the international law.

“We object to your [the U.S.] decision and we don't recognize it,” said Çavuşoğlu.

On March 25, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The UN said the Golan Heights is still considered an “occupied territory” under international law, despite Trump's announcement.

Israel occupies roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 - an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.

UN Security Council rejects Trump's Golan move

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on March 27 roundly rejected Washington's decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Syria called for an emergency meeting of the council following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to unilaterally recognize Israel's claim to the territory.

All members of the council except the U.S. harshly condemned the action, warning it risks regional stability and undermines the rules-based international order.

"Any unilateral action that would turn its back to the resolutions of the council is doomed to failure,” said Security Council President Anne Gueguen, speaking as the French representative.

US has no right to give Golan to Israel: President Erdoğan
US has no right to give Golan to Israel: President Erdoğan

France holds the council presidency for the month of March.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

It continues to occupy roughly two-thirds of the wider area as a de facto result of the conflict. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 - an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council, which called on Israel to rescind its decision.

The U.S. as a permanent member of the council voted at the time in favor of the resolution.

Israel has long lobbied Washington to recognize its claim over the Golan, but all past administrations refused to heed the calls. The annexation of territory seized in conflicts is illegal under international law.

The U.S. defended its controversial Golan proclamation, saying during the emergency council meeting that it believes that recognizing Israel's claim "contributes to" the stability of the region and Israel.

Russia, Syria's principal international ally, warned, however, that it "not only exacerbates the situation in Syria" but "also creates serious obstacles to normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab states".

"The unilateral decision of the U.S., for whatever reason it was taken, does not change any international legal decisions," said Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov.

Bashar Jaafari, Syria's UN ambassador, issued a blistering critique of the U.S. action, launching into a lengthy tirade assailing the decision.

The U.S. administration, he said, is “dangerous because they represent a blind and unprecedented tendency to twist international policy".

“The Syrian Golan is ours. It will come back to us,” Jaafari added. “You've brought shame to your own country.”

Turkey's main opposition CHP condemns Trump’s Golan move
Turkeys main opposition CHP condemns Trump’s Golan move

US’ Golan move jeopardizes Syria’s integration
US’ Golan move jeopardizes Syria’s integration

Donald Trump, Golan Heights, Israel, Turkey