France says Trump's Golan Heights move would violate international law

France sought to make clear on Friday that it does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and that President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE’s intention to do so would violate international law. 

“The Golan is a territory occupied by Israel since 1967. France does not recognize the Israeli annexation of 1981,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a daily briefing, according to Reuters.


“The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, occupied territory, would be contrary to international law, in particular the obligation for states not to recognize an illegal situation.”

Trump’s declaration Thursday that the U.S. should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights stands in stark contrast with decades of U.S. foreign policy on the issue. However, it is unlikely to noticeably alter facts on the ground, as Israel has maintained forces there since the area was seized from Syria during the Six-Day War.

The United Nations Security Council recognized Israel as “the occupying power” in the Golan after its annexation in 1981 but said Israel’s attempt to “impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”

Trump’s announcement came days before he is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long called on U.S. officials to recognize his country’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The declaration may also be a campaign boost for Netanyahu, who is banking on close U.S.-Israel relationship to help him overcome an ethics scandal as he seeks reelection next month.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry slammed the president Friday, vowing to retake the Golan Heights and maintaining that “the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian.”

The U.S. would become the first country to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.