Erdoğan criticizes Trump’s tweet endorsing Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump (L) speak to each other during the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. PHOTO: AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned that US President Donald Trump’s recent statement on the Golan Heights puts “the Middle East region on the brink of a new crisis,” Sputnik International reported.

“We cannot allow the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights,” Erdoğan told a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Friday.

The statement comes after the Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned Trump’s comments on the Golan Heights as “irresponsible,” adding that the Syrian people are determined to recover the area through “all available means.”

Trump tweeted on Thursday that “after 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability.”

Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 after the Six-Day War between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

The UN, which did not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the region, brokered a Syrian-Israeli armistice in 1974, urging Israel to leave parts of the Golan Heights. In 1981, Israel adopted a law extending its jurisdiction over the territory, in a move that has never been recognized internationally and that further exacerbated Israeli-Syrian ties.

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