US move on Golan Heights ‘unlawful’: Turkish FM
TEKIRDAĞ/WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
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.
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.
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.
France holds the council presidency for the month of March.
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.”