US President Donald Trump signed a decree recognizing Israeli “sovereignty” over the occupied Golan at the start of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on Monday.
Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Russia, and some European Union (EU) states were quick to reject Trump’s move, which is in obvious contravention of international law, Press TV reported.
Iran: Move was very dangerous
In a telephone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Tuesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani underlined the need for “closer cooperation between regional countries” given Tel Aviv’s “excessive demands” and Washington’s “incorrect decisions.”
Also addressing his cabinet members earlier in the day, Rouhani denounced Trump's announcement, and said even though colonial powers had in the past carried out similar moves, "one man unilaterally granting a piece of land belonging to a certain nation to a usurper" was unheard of in contemporary times.
Turkey’s Erdogan: Whose lands are you giving away?
Also on Tuesday, Turkey — which has been mainly opposed to the Syrian government in the course of an eight-year war in the Arab country — stressed that the US had no right to “give” Golan to Israel.
Last Friday, Turkey, which holds the rotating presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), convened an emergency meeting over the issue. There, President Erdogan said the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights could not be allowed.
Additionally, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has blasted “some Arab countries” for keeping mum on Trump’s Golan decision due to their fear of the US and Israel.
“I am not saying all the Arab countries. I do not mean Jordan and Qatar,” he said in Antalya Province on Tuesday. “I mean the countries which are bowing down to the US and not raising their voice over Israeli occupation in Jerusalem [al-Quds].”
Lebanon: This undermines all foundations of int’l law
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that the new US stance on Golan fueled concerns in regional countries and undermined international law.
“Certainly, this is a matter of major concern, triggering specific concerns in those countries that are situated in direct vicinity of Israel,” he added.
Russia: Is this the prelude to ‘the deal of the century?!’
Furthermore, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the recognition of occupied Golan may just serve as the prelude to Trump’s yet-to-be-unveiled proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — which she called “the surprise in store for all of us.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also warned of the “negative repercussions” of Trump’s move.
“The latest US step regarding the occupied Golan is a flagrant violation of international laws and the... Security Council’s resolutions, and it is clear that such a decision will have negative repercussions with regard to the political settlement in the Middle East and on the public mood of the political settlement in Syria,” he said.
EU states: We do not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over occupied Golan
Separately, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, and Poland — five EU countries that sit on the UN Security Council — stressed that the European position on Golan had not changed.
“We raise our strong concerns about broader consequences of recognizing illegal annexation and also about the broader regional consequences,” he added.
The expressions of rejection are not entirely new. World countries have already slammed the US over its decision.
Syria demands UNSC meeting
In a related development on Tuesday, Syria asked the UN Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision.
In a letter seen by AFP, the Syrian mission to the UN urged the Council’s presidency to schedule a session to “discuss the situation in the occupied Syrian Golan and the recent flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council’s resolution by a permanent member-state.”
In 1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories during which it occupied a large swathe of Syria’s Golan and annexed it four years later, a move never recognized by the international community.
Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.