Syria requests urgent UNSC meeting on Golan Heights | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 28, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, March 28, 2019

Syria requests urgent UNSC meeting on Golan Heights

Europe at UN says Golan is not Israeli territory

Syria has asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Monday in which the United States recognized Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau, despite UN resolutions that call for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan.

On Friday, Syria wrote a separate letter urging the council to uphold resolutions demanding that Israel withdraw from the Golan.

The council was scheduled to discuss the latest crisis yesterday during a meeting on renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force deployed between Israel and Syria in the Golan, known as UNDOF.

Five European countries with seats on the council earlier rejected Trump's decision and voiced concern that the US move would have broad consequences in the Middle East.

Two of Washington's closest allies -- Britain and France -- joined Belgium, Germany and Poland to declare that the European position had not changed and that the Golan remained Israeli-occupied Syrian territory, in line with international law enshrined in UN resolutions.

"We do not recognize Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including the Golan Heights, and we do not consider them to be part of the territory of the state of Israel," Belgian Ambassador Marc Pesteen de Buytswerve told reporters.

"We raise our strong concerns about broader consequences of recognizing illegal annexation and also about the broader regional consequences," he said, flanked by the ambassadors of the four other countries.

Three UN Security Council resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the Golan, which it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, in a move that was never recognized internationally.

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