Pompeo becomes first US Sec. of State to visit Golan Heights

'You can't stand here and deny what President Trump recognized, that this is a part of Israel,' Pompeo says in first visit to Golan Heights.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Pompeo and Ashkenazi in the Golan Heights
Pompeo and Ashkenazi in the Golan Heights
Shlomi Amsalem, MFA

Mike Pompeo on Thursday became the first US secretary of state to visit the Golan Heights, territory
Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War.

"You can't stand here and stare out at what's across the border and deny the central thing that President Donald Trump recognized... This is a part of Israel," Pompeo said, during his visit to the disputed area on Israel's border with Syria.

He condemned what he described as calls from "the salons in Europe and in the elite institutions in America," for Israel to return the Golan to Syria,.

"Imagine with (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad in control of this place, the risk of the harm to the West and to Israel," Pompeo said.

Pompeo and Ashkenazi fly over the Golan Heights

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi praised Pompeo for recognizing "the strategic importance of the
Golan Heights," saying that because Pompeo has served as head of the Central Intelligence Agency "he knows the facts."

Addressing the explosive device which was found on the border with Syria this week, Ashkenazi warned that Israel held the Syrian government responsible for any attacks on the Jewish State which originate from its borders.

Pompeo's visit to the Golan Heights follows his visit to Jude and Samaria, which was also the first visit of its kind by a US Secretary of State.

During his visit at the Psagot winery that the US will allow products from Judea and Samaria to be labeled "Made in Israel."

"All producers within areas where Israel exercises the relevant authorities... will be required to mark goods as 'Israel', 'Product of Israel', or 'Made in Israel' when exporting to the United States," Pompeo said in a statement.