The US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights of Syria that they occupied in 1967 and annexed in 1981. This proclamation contravenes the UN Charter, the UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 242 and 497 and tens of other UN resolutions citing these original resolutions which dismiss acquiring territory by force as unacceptable. Thus, Trump’s proclamation lacks legitimacy and is in blatant violation of international law.

The UNSC Resolution 497 of 1981 recognizes the Golan Heights as Syrian territory and declares all kinds of Israeli actions on occupied lands as null and void and without international effect. Regardless, Trump signed the order that officially recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights thereby ignoring all relevant UN resolutions, a move similar to moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

This decision, which is bound to consolidate Israel’s sovereignty over the natural resources that belong to Syria on the Golan Heights, is obviously a fait accompli. It violates international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. We are therefore deeply concerned that it might trigger new regional crises and protract the war in Syria even further.

One of the reasons why the USA could take such a decision disregarding international law and territorial integrity of Syria is the civil war that has debilitated Syria and wreaked havoc at global scale since 2011. The AKP rule has played an important role in the process that led to the debilitation of Syria.

The CHP does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights which are clearly declared as Syrian land in the relevant UN Resolutions and reiterate the fact that all states, particularly those neighboring Syria, ought to respect Syria’s territorial integrity.

We urge that the status of the Golan Heights not be called into question in order to ensure peace, security and stability in the region. We remind once again that Turkey can contribute to the efforts to defuse tension in the region by establishing amicable relations with countries of the region, starting with Syria.

In addition to the US decision concerning the Golan Heights, we condemn Israel’s strikes on Gaza of March 25 as yet another move which aggravates regional fault lines and escalates tension.IMG_3690