Sultanate says Golan Heights are Syrian land occupied by Israel

MUSCAT/UNITED NATIONS: “Commenting on the US President’s declaration recognising Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, the Sultanate of Oman affirms that the Golan Heights are Syrian land occupied by Israel. The US President’s decision does not change this fact, as it contradicts international law, and does not help in achieving stability in the region,” the Sultanate’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait criticised Monday’s move to recognise Israel’s 1981 annexation and said the territory was occupied Arab land. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi said it was an impediment to peace.

Iran echoed the comments, describing Trump’s decision as unprecedented in this century. “No one could imagine that a person in America comes and gives land of a nation to another occupying country, against international laws and conventions,” President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying by state news agency Irna. Trump, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Washington, on Monday signed a proclamation officially granting US recognition of the golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The European members of the United Nations Security Council — France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Poland — said they did not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since June 1967, including the Golan Heights. “We raise our strong concerns about broader consequences of recognising illegal annexation and also about the broader regional consequences,” they said on Tuesday. Israel captured the golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981 in a move the UN Security Council declared unlawful. Demonstrations spread across Syria on Tuesday denouncing Washington’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, in a show of unity in the country, state media said.