Lebanese President Michel Aoun has strongly condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory, describing the measure as in blatant violation of international law and conventions.
“This threatens not only the sovereignty of a brotherly country and brotherly nation, but also the sovereignty of the Lebanese state, which possesses land gradually annexed by Israel, particularly in the Shebaa Farms, Kafrshuba hills and the northern section of Ghajar [village],” Aoun said at a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev in Beirut on Tuesday.
The Lebanese president then urged the Israeli regime to fully comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the war of aggression Israel launched against Lebanon in 2006 and calls on Tel Aviv to respect Beirut's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Aoun also urged Bulgaria to stand by Lebanon in the face of repeated Israeli attacks, and support the Arab country’s right to extract crude oil and natural gas within its territory and territorial waters.
“We support Lebanon's efforts for balance, dialogue and peaceful solutions to crises in the [Middle East] region. We also appreciate the Lebanese model of ethnic, racial and religious tolerance,” Radev said for his part.
On March 25, Trumped signed a proclamation, formally recognizing Israel's sovereignty over Golan Heights. The announcement came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.
Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, called the US decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria.
“The liberation of the Golan by all available means and its return to the Syrian motherland is an inalienable right,” according to the statement carried by Syria’s official news agency SANA, which added, “The decision ... makes the United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”
The Arab League condemned the move, saying that "Trump's recognition does not change the area's status."
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was impossible for Turkey to accept the US decision on the Golan Heights.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.