DAMASCUS, Syria – From Syria to Turkey and beyond, President Donald Trump's sudden statement that Washington will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has drawn strong condemnation on Friday.
The Syrian government called it "irresponsible" and a threat to international peace and stability, while Iran's Foreign Ministry said it is throwing the region into a new crisis.
The Foreign Ministry of Damascus said that Trump's statement confirms "the blind bias of the United States to the Zionist unity," referring to Israel and adding that it will not change "the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arabic and Syrian" .
The ministry also said that Damascus now intends to liberate the Golan "by all means."
Trump's message the day before was a major shift in US politics and gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost in a month before what is expected to be a close choice The administration has considered recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the strategic highlands captured by Israel from Syria in 1967 for some time, and Netanyahu had pushed the case with the visiting US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo this week.
Israel unilaterally attached the Golan Heights in 1981. UN Security Council Resolution 497, issued after the annexation, refers to Israel as "the occupying power" and states that Israel's attempt to "impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect. "
Damascus also said Trump's statement" clearly shows US contempt of international legitimacy and violates its decisions, especially Security Council Resolution 497 "while threatening" international peace and stability . "
Syrian Foreign Ministry later announced that a letter was sent to the Presidents of the UN Security Council and the United Nations over Trump's" irresponsible and dangerous statements about the Golan. " The statement called on the UN Secretary-General to confirm the organisation's position on Israeli occupation of the Golan.
In a Friday receipt, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took aim at the United States and said that if it believes that "persistent violation of intl law, bullying sovereign nations and milking its customers will be strengthened. It does not. Its recklessness merely shows panic in an empire of decline. "
The Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit also criticized the American position and said that" comes out of international legitimacy and no country, no matter how important, can make such a decision. "
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Trump's" unfortunate "statement has brought the region" on the brink of a new crisis and new tensions. "
" We will never allow legitimization of the Golan Heights obsession, "Erdogan added.
Egypt also issued a statement and said the Golan is occupied by Arab territory and calls for an espect for international resolutions.
told reporters that Trump's comments "can destabilize the already fragile situation in the Middle East."
"The idea is not to help the goals of the Middle East, conversely," he said. "Currently, it's just a statement. Let us hope that this will be so. "
In Germany, the government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said that there was no change in Berlin's position at the Golan Heights, which pointed to the UN's resolution in 1981. She said that Germany Opposing "one-sided steps", but paying close attention to the importance of the territory to Israel.
"A peace agreement must take into account Israel's highly justified security interests and, of course, stop once for all the potential dangers to Israel from the Golan Heights, Demmer said. "But for the present, the existing tensions must not be elaborated."
The United States will be the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, which the rest of the international community regards as territory occupied by Israel whose status should be determined by negotiations between Israel and Syria. Attempts to bring Israel and Syria to the table have failed.
It was not immediately clear how a United Nations peacekeeping force in place in the Golan can be affected by the United States' traits. This power's mandate expires in late June.
There were signs that a US decision came. Last week, the state department of the term "Israeli occupied" fell from the Golan Heights section instead of calling it "Israeli-controlled".
Associated Press Authors Maggie Michael in Cairo; Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey; Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow, Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Geir Moulson in Berlin and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.