See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

Arab leaders condemn US Golan decision

League show united front against Trump’s Israel policy despite rifts.


Written by

Updated: April 3, 2019

Arab leaders strongly rejected the US decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory at the 30th Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Sunday, Xinhua News Agency reported.

In a final declaration, the Arab leaders said they “affirmed that the Golan is occupied Syrian territory according to international law, the decisions of the United Nations and the Security Council”, Agence France-Presse reported.

A separate statement dedicated solely to the issue called Washington’s move “invalid and illegitimate”.

The Arab leaders presented a unified front in rejecting the US move, despite their rifts over whether to restore Syria’s membership in the Arab League.

“It is true that America is the strongest military force in the world, but its decision is absolutely worthless,” League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit told a closing news conference.

Arab leaders said in a statement that Arab states would submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council and seek an opinion from the International Court of Justice “on the illegality and invalidity of the American recognition”, according to a Reuters report.

The recent move by US President Donald Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian territory of Golan Heights heads this year’s Arab League summit agenda.

Trump signed a proclamation on March 25 recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, marking a major shift in US policy in the Middle East.

The proclamation said that it is “appropriate to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights” because of the security needs of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Trump’s move and called the recognition “historic”. “In a day of history, we have never had a greater friend than President Trump,” he said.

In response, Syria’s Foreign Ministry called the US move a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

Trump’s decision drew broad opposition from the international community.

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

Speaking at the Arab League summit in Tunis, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said the US decision is completely opposed to UN Security Council resolutions that consider the Golan Heights an Israeli-occupied Syrian territory.

“The EU is working to achieve a political solution to the crisis in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions,” she said, adding that a political solution would be the only peaceful way to end the conflict in Syria.

In his phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that the recognition of Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights would lead to violation of international law, impede the settlement of the Syrian crisis, and aggravate the situation throughout the Middle East.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that the US recognition would never legitimize Israeli occupation. On the contrary, the move would further increase tension in the region by preventing peace efforts in the Middle East.

Israel seized the Golan Heights in the third Middle East war in 1967 and annexed it in the 1980s, but the international community has never recognized the move.

UN Security Council Resolution 497, adopted unanimously in December 1981, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is “null and void and without international legal effect”.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Report: US officials lied about Afghanistan

Civilian, military officials misled public for nearly two decades about status of war, Washington Post review of documents finds. For nearly two decades, senior US civilian and military officials didn’t tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported on Monday after reviewing more than 2,000 pages of government documents. The officials made pronouncements they knew to be false and hid evidence that the war had become unwinnable, the newspaper said interviews with those officials show. John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to the Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to”. The newspaper said that two major claims in the documents are that US officials manipulated statistics to suggest to the American public that the war was being won and that successive


By China Daily
December 11, 2019

Diplomacy

Pompeo says US is hopeful N. Korea will refrain from nuclear, long-range missile tests

Both sides are hopeful of continued talks. The United States is hopeful North Korea will continue to refrain from nuclear tests and long-range missile tests, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday, after Pyongyang said it had conducted a “very important” test over the weekend. North Korea said the test occurred at its Dongchang-ri satellite launch site on Saturday, raising tensions ahead of a year-end deadline North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has imposed for the US to show flexibility in their negotiations on dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. “Chairman Kim personally made the commitment to denuclearize, said there wouldn’t be long-range missile tests, nuclear tests,” Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the State Department.


By The Korea Herald
December 11, 2019

Diplomacy

Arguments strong enough to convince judges: expert

Myanmar at The Hague for genocide. The arguments presented by the Gambia’s lawyers at the top UN court yesterday were extremely strong and should convince the judges to issue “provisional measures” against Myanmar to stop genocide against the Rohingyas, said a legal expert. If the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issues such an order, Myanmar will be under real pressure as it is a binding one, said the expert. “It was truly convincing the way the lawyers, who are very reputed in their fields, presented their arguments at the top UN court in the Hague,” Ahmed Ziauddin, a genocide researcher based in Brussels, told this correspondent yesterday. “They made it very clear that provisional measures were urgent to protect the Rohingyas, and such measures won’t affect Myanmar as a state.” The ICJ is not a criminal court that can issue an arrest order against any individual. But


By Daily Star
December 11, 2019

Diplomacy

7 of 10 Filipinos worried by presence of Chinese workers

China has increased its presence in the archipelago. The rising presence of Chinese workers in the country worry seven out of 10 adult Filipinos, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, as the government recently launched a crackdown against Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) which mostly employ Chinese nationals. The noncommissioned survey, conducted from Sept. 27 to 30, found that 31 percent “worried a great deal,” while 39 percent are “somewhat worried.” Highest in Metro Manila The proportion of those who were worried about the increasing number of Chinese workers in the country was highest in Metro Manila at 75 percent, followed by the Visayas at 71 percent, Luzon outside Metro Manila (69 percent) and Mindanao (67 percent.) About half of the respondents agree that the rising number of Chinese workers is a threat to national secur


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 6, 2019

Diplomacy

Huawei asks US court to overturn ban

The company is suing the FCC, the latest in a series of legal tussles. The legal battle between Huawei Technologies Co and United States government intensified on Thursday. The Chinese tech heavyweight announced a legal challenge to the US Federal Communications Commission, seeking to overturn the latter’s order that bans telecom carriers from buying the company’s equipment via federal subsidies. The move is the latest push by the world’s largest telecom equipment maker to pursue fair competition and treatment amid a slate of restrictions from Washington. Analysts said the FCC ban would have very limited impact on Huawei’s financial performance, but labeling the company as a national security threat would cause far-reaching reputational harm. In a petition filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, Huawei asked the court to declare the FCC order un


By China Daily
December 6, 2019

Diplomacy

North Korea has not given up hope for nuclear talks with US yet

Kim has mentioned a possibility of a ‘Christmas’ gift. Tensions between the US and North Korea have heightened as the two sides exchanged threats and bellicose rhetoric of possible military actions if necessary, amid their stalled nuclear talks. But they appear to have no intention to wind up their diplomacy at least for the next few weeks, experts said. On Wednesday, Heino Klinck, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, said the US has been refraining from responding to every single one of North On Wednesday, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Heino Klinck said the


By The Korea Herald
December 6, 2019