Astana partners condemn US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

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Representatives of the Syria regime and rebel groups along with other attendees take part in the session of Syria peace talks in Astana on September 15, 2017. Russia, Iran and Turkey have in Astana reached a deal to jointly police a fourth safe zone as part of a Russia-driven plan to still fighting in the six-year Syrian conflict. According to a joint declaration produced at the end of two days of talks in Kazakh capital, the trio agreed to deploy "de-escalation control forces" in a zone encompassing the troublesome province of Idlib as well as "certain parts" of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces. / AFP PHOTO / Stanislav FILIPPOV

Turkey, Russia and Iran on Friday condemned the US decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Syria’s occupied Golan Heights, the Anadolu news agency reported. 

In a joint statement the three guarantor countries of the Astana process for peace in Syria reaffirmed their strong commitment “to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”

The statement came during a two-day meeting in Nur-Sultan, the recently renamed Kazakh capital, following an international meeting on Syria in the Astana format.

On March 25 US President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the highlands on the border with Syria as Israel’s territory.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

It occupies roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the conflict.

It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 — an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.

The guarantor countries underscored that UN principles should be universally respected and that no actions, no matter by whom they were undertaken, should undermine them.

“In this regard [the guarantor states] strongly condemned the decision of the US Administration to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, which constitutes a grave violation of international law, particularly the UN Security Council resolution 497, and threatens peace and security in the Middle East,” read the statement.

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