CAIRO – Saudi Arabia denounced on Tuesday the decision of United States President Donald Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights area in Syria, calling it a violation of international law.
Trump, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had signed a proclamation on Monday at the White House officially recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, a part of southwestern Syria that has been under Israeli military occupation since the Six-Day War of 1967.
“This declaration will have major negative impact of the peace process in the Middle East and the security and stability of the region,” the Saudi foreign ministry wrote on Twitter.
The ministry added that it was a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, the principles of international law and the relevant Security Council resolutions.
In addition, the foreign ministry of Bahrain considered the decision a step that “disrupts all efforts aimed at achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East.”
It stressed “the need to abide by the resolutions of international legitimacy, calling for concerted efforts to end Israel’s occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights and to withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 in order to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.”
The Indonesian government, meanwhile, also pilloried the move by the Trump administration, saying it did not go in favor of establishing peace in the region.
The Arab League, as well as Arab countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, denounced Trump’s decision too.
On Monday, the White House had released a statement confirming Trump’s willingness to make the US the first country in the world to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the disputed territory.
The White House said it was a necessary step for “any possible future peace agreement in the region,” which “must account for Israel’s need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats.”
Israel formally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, although the move was not recognized internationally.
On Dec. 17, 1981, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution No. 497, which rejected the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights and considered it “null and void and without international legal effect.”