Washington: Overturning longstanding US policy on the Golan Heights, US President Donald Trump on Thursday (local time) stated that it is time for the United States to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territory.
“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 tweeted.
The statement comes just a few days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet Trump at the White House, according to CNN.
Israel formally annexed the territory in 1981 after capturing the region from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967. The Israeli annexation has long been decried by the world community, who regard Golan Heights as occupied territory and Israeli settlements there as illegal as per international law.
“At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you, President Trump! @realDonaldTrump,” Netanyahu tweeted in response.
Experts say that Trump’s statement could majorly impact the outcome of the impending Israeli elections.