Arab Parliament rejects US recognition of Golan Heights

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Cairo, March 26 (IANS) The Arab Parliament has rejected US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, a part of Syria that has been under Israeli military occupation since the Six-Day War of 1967.

Parliament Speaker Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, on Monday night categorically rejected Trump’s decision to “recognise the sovereignty of the occupying power (Israel) over the Syrian Golan”, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

Al-Salami considered the move as a flagrant violation of UN General Assembly resolutions and UN Security Council Resolution 242, on withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied in 1967, including the Golan.

Earlier on Monday, the White House released a statement confirming the move of the US as the first country to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the disputed territory, Efe news reported.

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”.

Most of the 26,000 members of the Druze religious community in the Golan Heights have refused assimilation into the Israeli state and nearly all of them boycotted Israel’s first-ever attempt to hold municipal elections in the territory last October.

International media outlets reported that around 20,000 Israeli settlers currently live in the Golan Heights.

UN peacekeepers have been stationed in the Golan for decades.

–IANS

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