Syria asks Security Council to discuss Golan recognition

Syria asks for urgent meeting to discuss the US decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Elad Benari,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

Syria on Tuesday asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the US decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, AFP reports.

In a letter seen by the news agency, the Syrian mission to the United Nations asked the council presidency, held by France, to schedule an urgent meeting to "discuss the situation in the occupied Syrian Golan and the recent flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council's resolution by a permanent member-state."

The French presidency did not immediately schedule the meeting and diplomats said there would be a discussion at the council about the request, noted AFP.

US President Donald Trump on Monday officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel liberated from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and then annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized by the international community.

Trump's Golan decision sparked condemnation from the Arab world, including from Syria, which accused Trump of “blatantly attacking” its sovereignty with the decision.

"Trump does not have the right and the legal authority to legitimize the occupation," said a foreign ministry source.

On Friday, Syria wrote a separate letter urging the council to uphold resolutions demanding that Israel withdraw from the Golan, noted AFP.

Last week, Damascus vowed to recover the Golan Heights in the wake of Trump’s declaration, saying the Golan would remain “Syrian, Arab” and adding that Trump had shown contempt for international law.

The council is scheduled to discuss the latest crisis on Wednesday during a meeting on renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force deployed between Israel and Syria in the Golan, known as UNDOF.

US Acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told a council meeting on the Middle East earlier on Tuesday that Washington had made the decision to stand up to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Iran.

"To allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Assad regime and malign and destabilizing presence of Iran in the region," said Cohen.

There "can be no peace agreement that does not satisfactorily address Israel's security needs in the Golan Heights," he added.