Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Syrian Golan has been met with condemnation by the international community, with the UN and Washington’s Gulf and European allies slamming the move.
The US president signed a declaration on Monday recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was present at the signing ceremony, praised Trump’s unilateral move, comparing the president to biblical and Zionist heroes. But reactions among the international community – including Washington’s closest Gulf and European allies – were considerably less enthusiastic.
The United Nations, which has long maintained that Israel’s occupation of the Golan is illegal under international law, signaled that its position had not changed. A UN spokesman said that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will continue to honor a December 1981 resolution which called Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights “null and void and without international legal effect.”
The declaration was similarly unpopular among nations which normally follow Washington’s foreign policy lead.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait – Washington’s accommodating Gulf allies which host US military bases – have criticized Trump’s move.
“It will have significant negative effects on the peace process in the Middle East and the security and stability of the region,“ a statement on Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA said. Saudi Parliament Speaker Mishaal bin Fahm al-Salami reaffirmed Riyadh’s “principled position” that the Golan Heights is Syrian land.
NATO ally Turkey also lashed out at Washington. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the US has “ignored international law” by recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.