Trump’s decision on Golan Heights angers almost everyone

All Middle East countries countries and many more have decried President Donald Trump’s abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The Syrian government called it “irresponsible” and a threat to international peace and stability. The Foreign Ministry in Damascus said Trump’s statement confirms “the blind bias of the United States to the Zionist entity,” referring to Israel, and added that it won’t change “the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian.The ministry also said Damascus is now more intent on liberating the Golan, “using every possible means.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the United Nations had no comment on Trump’s tweet.

Damascus also said Trump’s statement “clearly shows the U.S. disdain to the international legitimacy and violates its resolutions, especially Security Council resolution 497” while also threatening “international peace and stability.”

Syria’s Foreign Ministry later announced that a letter was sent to the presidents of the UN Security Council and United Nations over Trump’s “irresponsible and dangerous statements over the Golan.” The statement urged the UN secretary-general to confirm the organization’s stance regarding Israeli occupation of the Golan.

Iran’s foreign ministry said it plunges the region into a new crisis. In a Friday tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took aim at the US, saying that if it believes that “persistently violating int’l law, bullying sovereign nations & milking its clients projects strength. It does not. Its recklessness just displays panic of an empire in decline.”

Arab League head Ahmed Aboul Gheit also criticized the American stance, saying it “comes outside the international legitimacy and no country, no matter how important it is, can make such a decision.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Trump’s “unfortunate” declaration has brought the region “to the brink of a new crisis and new tensions, adding “we will never allow the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights.”

Egypt also issued a statement, saying the Golan is occupied Arab territory and calling for respect for international resolutions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Trump’s comments “can destabilize the already fragile situation in the Middle East.”

“The very idea is not helping the goals of the Middle East settlement, quite the other way round,” he said. “Right now, it’s merely a declaration. Let’s hope it will stay this way.”

In Germany, government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said there was no change to Berlin’s position on the Golan Heights, pointing to the 1981 UN resolution. She said Germany opposes “unilateral steps,” but is well aware of the territory’s significance to Israel.

The US will be the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, which the rest of the international community regards as territory occupied by Israel whose status should be determined by negotiations between Israel and Syria. Attempts to bring Israel and Syria to the table have failed.

It was not immediately clear how a UN peacekeeping force that is in place in the Golan might be affected by the US move. That force’s mandate expires at the end of June.