Trump’s Golan move will derail ME peace bid: UAE - GulfToday

Trump’s Golan move will derail ME peace bid: UAE

Syrian-Golan

Syrians protest against Donald Trump’s decision on the Golan Heights in Deir Al Zor on Tuesday.

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates has expressed its deep regret and condemnation of the recognition by the United States of the Syrian Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory, describing it as a move that disrupts all efforts to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Washington’s Arab allies and Iran also joined the condemnation on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait criticised the move and said the territory was occupied Arab land. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi said it was an impediment to peace.

Separately, Dr Mishaal Bin Fahm Al Salami, Speaker of Arab Parliament, strongly rejected the US action.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) stressed that there is no possibility of achieving stability and peace in the region as long as Israel continues its occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories.

The Ministry’s statement affirmed the UAE’s firm position in recognising the Golan Heights as Syrian territory, adding that the decision by the US Administration cannot change this reality.

The MoFAIC statement reaffirmed the necessity of abiding by UN Security Council resolutions No.242 of 1967 and 497 of 1981 and the principles set out in the Arab Peace Initiative concerning a full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights.

In a statement, Al Salami said the US illegal decision is completely rejected and condemned, null, has no legal grounds, and are unilateral measures to change a legally recognised situation, which is that the Syrian Golan Heights remain an occupied land. The statement described the US decision as a flagrant violation of United Nations General Assembly resolutions and UN Security Council Resolution No.242 of 1967, on withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied, including the Golan.

Al Salami noted that such decision represents a “serious and unprecedented challenge” to the will of all countries of the world and is a confiscation of land by force.

He stressed that the US has proved to be fully biased to the occupying power by its recent recognition of occupied Jerusalem as the capital for the occupiers, and its recognition today of the sovereignty of over the occupied Syrian Golan.

Iran echoed the comments, describing Trump’s decision as unprecedented in this century.

“No one could imagine that a person in America comes and gives land of a nation to another occupying country, against international laws and conventions,” President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

The European members of the United Nations Security Council - France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Poland - said they did not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since June 1967, including the Golan Heights.

“We do not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including the Golan Heights, and we do not consider them to be part of the territory of the state of Israel,” Belgian Ambassador Marc Pesteen de Buytswerve told reporters.

“We raise our strong concerns about broader consequences of recognising illegal annexation and also about the broader regional consequences,” he said on Tuesday flanked by the ambassadors of the four other countries.

“It will have significant negative effects on the peace process in the Middle East and the security and stability of the region,” said a statement on Saudi state news agency SPA.

It described the declaration as a clear violation of the UN Charter and of international law.

Qatar, which has been at loggerheads with other Gulf states over its policies, joined them in rejecting Trump’s move and called on Israel to end its occupation of the Golan Heights and comply with international resolutions.

Lebanon said the decision contravened international law.

“The world is witnessing a black day,” Lebanese President Michel Aoun wrote on Twitter during a visit to Russia.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hizbollah movement, a key Damascus ally, said the move was evidence of US “disdain and disregard” for the Arab and Muslim world and of international law.

“This absolute supporter of Israel cannot be a sponsor of the peace process and here he is today dealing a deadly blow to the so-called peace process,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

Agencies