The United Nations Security Council convened to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to sign a proclamation, officially recognizing Israel’s 1981 assertion of sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The meeting, which was called by the Damascus regime, sought to condemn the American decision – a move the Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar Ja’afari claimed ‘has no political, legal or moral legitimacy.’ According to the Syrian diplomate: “My country, the Syrian Arab Republic, condemns the illegal statement made by the president of the United States of America on the 25th of March, the statement made about the legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan. My country’s government considers that piece of paper signed by President Trump on that date and offered as a gift to the prime minister of the occupying authority Israel is a unilateral statement by one party, which has neither the political legitimacy, legal or moral legitimacy to make such a decision and decide the destiny of other peoples of the world or the lands and to whom they would belong, land that in this case belongs to my country, the Syrian Arab Republic.”
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., Mr. Danny Danon, condemned the international rejection of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, terming it as ‘an absurd global detachment from the truth’. The Israeli diplomat insisted that the United States’ historic proclamation indicates its “willingness to honor the reality on the ground,” and he implored other member-states to join the American move. “The Golan Heights is and will always Israel’s sovereign territory. We thank the United States for its just and historic proclamation. This step, like many others it has taken before shows the willingness of the United States to honor reality on the ground. It reflects once again the sincere commitment of the United States to ensuring Israel’s security and the right to self- defense. We implore member-states to join the United States in recognizing that the Golan Heights is Israel’s sovereign land,” the Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. said.
The United States representative, on his part, defended his country’s decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty, pointing to the fact that for decades “the Golan Heights have been subject to the same administration and governed by the same laws as the rest of (the Jewish state).” Rodney Hunter, Political Coordinator for the U.S. Mission to the U.N., said: “This decision is of critical strategic and security importance to the state of Israel and the U.S. believes it can contribute to stability. As we said yesterday, to allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the threats emanating from a Syrian regime that engages in atrocities and from Iran and terrorist actors including Hezbollah seeking to use the Golan Heights as a launching ground for attacks on Israel. And for decades the residents of the Golan Heights have been subject to the same administration and governed by the same laws as the rest of Israel. The president’s statement on the Golan reflects a recognition of the unique circumstances that led us to deem it appropriate to recognize Israeli sovereignty at this time.”
The majority of the countries attending the meeting rejected the American decision, however, including Russia – the main backer of the Assad Regime – which called for the immediate restoration of Syrian sovereignty over the Golan Heights. “The Syrian Golan Heights are part of the Syrian Arab Republic. They were occupied by Israel in 1967 and then after that they were illegally annexed. We strictly stick to Security Council Resolution 497 that calls for the jurisdiction to be restored by Syria and stating that any other has no legal force whatsoever,” stated Vladimir Safronkov, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the U.N.