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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Golan, Syrian land occupied by Israel: PGCC

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, March 23, IRNA -- The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) expressed regret on Friday at US President Donald Trump's call to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory captured from Syria in a 1967 war.

Trump's statement "will not change the reality that (…) the Arab Golan Heights is Syrian land occupied by Israel by military force in 1967," said Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, the PGCC Secretary-General, Muscat-based Oman Observer reported.

"The statements by the American president undermine the chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace," he said.

The PGCC's comments came as the Syrian government vowed on Friday to recover the territory from Zionist regime. Other countries, both Syria's allies and enemies, in the region and the West also condemned the US president's comments – which marked the latest major US policy shift on Israel.

Damascus said the Golan would remain "Syrian, Arab" and Trump had shown contempt for international law.

The Arab League said Trump had paved "the way for official American recognition" of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan and called this "completely beyond international law".

Egypt said it still considers the Golan as occupied Syrian territory.

Russia said Trump's comments risked seriously destabilizing the region, and it voiced hope the statement was just declaratory.

The European Union said its position on the status of the Golan Heights was unchanged. "The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967."

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