Iraq considers Golan Heights an “occupied Syrian territory,” says foreign minister

Israeli soldiers at an army base in the Israeli-annexed Syrian Golan Heights look out across the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra, visible across the border on 7 July 2018 [JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images]

Baghdad ( – Iraq totally rejects U.S. President Donald Trump’s proclamation to recognize the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel, Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim tweeted on Monday.

“Iraq considers the Golan Heights an occupied Syrian territory and it should be placed under the Syrian sovereignty pursuant to (U.N.) Security Council resolutions,” al-Hakim said, stressing that his country is opposing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights “under any circumstances.”

For his part, Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed el-Sahhaf said that Trump’s proclamation “gives legitimacy to the Israeli occupation forces and violates international law.”

“Iraq supports international legitimate resolutions issued by the U.N. Security Council, which call for ending Israel’s occupation,” he added.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “clear that the status of Golan has not changed,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.

“The UN’s policy on Golan is reflected in the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and that policy has not changed,” Dujarric said. Israel seized the strategic land from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

A UN Security Council resolution adopted unanimously by the 15-member body in 1981 declared that Israel’s “decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.” It also demanded Israel rescind its decision.

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