Trump denies trying to help Netanyahu reelection with Golan Heights decision

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President Trump says his decision to recognize Israel’s control of the Golan Heights was not done to boost Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tough reelection race.

“No, I wouldn’t even know about that,” Trump told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo in an interview to air Friday.

{mosads}“I hear he’s doing OK, I don’t know if he’s doing great, but I hear he’s doing OK,” Trump added of Netanyahu. “But I would imagine the other side, whoever is against him, is also in favor of what I just did.”

Trump said Thursday that the U.S. should recognize Israeli control of the territory, which was captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed by Israel in 1981.

The U.S. and other nations have not formally recognized that move, saying that the Golan Heights’ permanent status should be determined through negotiations.

Netanyahu, who has repeatedly urged top U.S. officials to make the move, is facing a tough election in two weeks to remain in office. The prime minister is facing multiple corruption indictments.

The Israeli leader is visiting Washington soon, a move seen as an effort to bolster his election chances, since Trump remains extremely popular in Israel.

Trump’s decisions to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal brokered by former President Obama earned praise from Netanyahu.

Tags Donald Trump

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