Syria slams Trump on Golan Heights declaration

Syria slams Trump on Golan Heights declaration
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Syria on Friday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE over his surprise declaration that the U.S. should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, saying the decision was “irresponsible” and threatened international stability.

The country’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the announcement confirmed “the blind bias of the United States to the Zionist entity,” referring to Israel, and that the announcement will not change “the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian.”

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The agency also said it is now more focused on liberating the area “using every possible means,” according to The Associated Press.

Trump’s announcement Thursday came days before he is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. The statement could be a boon for Netanyahu, who is currently seeking reelection under the cloud of an ethics scandal.

The move would reverse decades of U.S. foreign policy regarding the piece of land, which Israel wrested from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War. While the declaration does not do much to override facts on the ground, with Israeli forces entrenched in the Golan Heights for decades, it again resembled Trump’s willingness to buck historical policy and shake up U.S. stances in the Middle East.

Syria said the pronouncement “clearly shows the U.S. disdain to the international legitimacy and violates its resolutions, especially Security Council resolution 497” while also threatening “international peace and stability.” 

The United Nations Security Council recognized Israel as “the occupying power” in the Golan Heights after its annexation in 1981 and 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.”

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