Trump to recognise Golan as its territory today: Israel | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 25, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:32 AM, March 25, 2019

Trump to recognise Golan as its territory today: Israel

US President Donald Trump will sign an order recognising Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights when he meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington today, Israel's foreign minister said.

"President Trump will sign tomorrow in the presence of PM Netanyahu an order recognising Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Again breaking with longstanding international consensus, Trump said on Thursday that the United States should acknowledge Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

He however left unanswered if or when he would follow through with an order to do so.

Netanyahu has long pushed for such recognition, and many analysts saw Trump's statement, which came in a tweet, as a campaign gift ahead of Israel's April 9 polls.

The prime minister is locked in tough election campaign with a centrist political alliance headed by former military chief Benny Gantz and ex-finance minister Yair Lapid.

Syria and other states in the region condemned Trump's pledge, saying it violates international law. France said the same.

Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 in a move never recognised by the international community.

The decision is the latest major move in favour of Israel by Trump, who in 2017 recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as the country's capital.

Moscow warned the policy U-turn could spark new conflicts.

Any such move would break with UN Security Council resolutions and with more than half a century of US foreign policy, which treated the Golan as occupied territory whose future would be negotiated in talks with Syria on a comprehensive peace.

The Syrian foreign ministry sent a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging him to reiterate the UN's rejection of Israeli claims over the Golan, SANA said.

Turkey, which hosted the last indirect peace talks between Israel and the Syrian government in 2008 but has backed Syrian rebels, said the change risked plunging the region into a "new crisis".

EU, France, Germany also condemned the move.

The Golan move is Trump's latest diplomatic bombshell as he seeks to redraw the fraught Middle East in Israel's favour.

In 2017, Trump went against decades of practice in recognising the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, rather than the previously accepted Tel Aviv.

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