Turkey blasts Trump's announcement on Golan Heights

Turkey's Foreign Minister says US recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights will lead to more violence.

Elad Benari ,

Mevlut Cavusoglu
Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkey's Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Thursday blasted US President Donald Trump's announcement calling for the US to officially recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, reported the Anadolu news agency.

“The territorial integrity of states is the most fundamental principle of international law,” said Cavusoglu.

“Attempts by the US to legitimize Israel's actions against international law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region. Turkey supports Syria's territorial integrity,” he added.

In a tweet earlier on Thursday, Trump wrote, "After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!"

Trump’s announcement came a week after the US State Department decided to officially identify the Golan Heights as being “under Israeli control,” as opposed to its past designation as “occupied territory.”

Congressional momentum has been building on Capitol Hill for the change, and the State Department last week changed its terminology for the first time on the contested territory, referring to it as "Israeli-controlled" instead of its previous usage of "Israeli-occupied."

Last week, US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that the Golan Heights should remain "forever" under the control of Israel as he toured the Golan Heights with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The comment raised the ire of Syria, which said Graham’s remarks demonstrated "the arrogance of the US administration and how it views regional issues with Zionist eyes and with the interests of Israel" in mind.