Trump Admin Moves Toward Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

Golan Heights. File

Golan Heights. File

Departing US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley will switch up one annual tradition at the world body before she leaves her post, voting "no" on a resolution that calls on Israel to leave the occupied Golan Heights. While the resolution is non-binding, the annual ritual has served as an worldwide censure of Israel's decision in the early 1980s to bring the Golan under its sovereignty.

The resolution is expected to come up for a vote Friday.

The U.S. voted to abstain last year, but this year voted no, along with Israel, and cited the resolution's anti-Israel bias, the militarization of the Syrian Golan border, and a worsening humanitarian crisis as reasons for the change in the vote.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon thanked the USA for the move and said the "UN should deal with Syria's civil war, not meaningless decisions that won't affect Israel's sovereignty in the Golan Heights".

Israel captured around 1,200 sq km (460 sq miles) of the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, and later annexed it to internationally condemnation. "Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone", she said in a statement.

The outgoing USA ambassador to the United Nations announced her country's decision in a statement Thursday about a General Assembly vote scheduled for Friday.

And, while Haley's vote won't keep the resolution from passing, it will certainly upset the balance of global diplomacy vis-a-vis the Israeli-Arab conflict by signaling that the U.S. now accepts the Jewish state's maintaining long-term control over the Golan.

The presence of Iranian military forces in Syria, seen as legitimate by Russian Federation after Damascus "invited" them in, is viewed as a dire military threat by Israel that could embolden the Syrian government and Lebanese militants Hezbollah.

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He added that he expects the Golan Heights to remain under Israeli control "forever", saying that he "cannot imagine a situation" in which the area is returned to Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon welcomed the US move and called it "another testament to the strong cooperation between the two countries".

The week before, member of Israeli parliament Yoav Kisch wrote a letter to United States ambassador to Israel David Friedman in which he stated that a U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights would be a natural continuation of the current USA policy in the region.

The Israeli regime occupied the Syrian territory in 19-67.

The US will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights.

The non-binding resolution is voted on every year by the UN General Assembly's Third Committee. But the United States and the global community have long refused to recognize Israeli sovereignty there and officially consider it Syrian territory under Israeli occupation.

France, Germany, Sweden and other European Union states each year support 15 out of a total of 20 resolutions adopted against Israel, Neuer noted. Trump has recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, breaking with other world powers, though his national security adviser John Bolton told Reuters in August a similar Golan move was not under discussion.

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