Golan Heights: Damascus calls for urgent UN Security Council meeting

Several member states of the Council speak of a decision that violates all past resolutions. Saudi Arabia and Iran are also opposed. For the United Nations the status of the Heights "has not changed". Protests against Trump's unilateral move in various cities of Syria.


Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Syria asked yesterday for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Now the word passes to France, the current president, who will have to decide a date when this meeting will be held even if the opposition of a single nation among the 15 that make up the meeting could actually prevent the meeting from taking place.

Yesterday morning, in a monthly meeting dedicated to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the context of renewed violence in the region, several Council members leaked their impatience with the unilateral move of the White House. A decision that violates all previous United Nations resolutions on the subject that speak of "occupied territory".

Several states have condemned the choice of the US government, following on from its highly criticized move last year to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Among the most critical voices are the five European nations belonging to the Council, including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Poland. In these hours they have signed a solemn declaration that "does not recognise the sovereignty of Israel over the territories occupied since June 1967, including the Golan Heights".

"The forcible annexation of a territory - underlined the five - is prohibited by international law". And any declaration "on a unilateral change" of a border is "contrary" to international law and to the United Nations charter. Among the most critical voices is that of the French ambassador, who underlined that the Security Council has the task of overseeing international laws and principles, which is why its possible "silence" on Trump's decision is "unacceptable".

Yesterday in a rare union of intent between the two rival powers in the Middle Eastern region and within the Islamic religion both Iran and Saudi Arabia (along with three other Sunni Gulf nations) condemned the move. Tehran by the mouth of President Hassan Rouhani called Trump a "colonialist" who acts in violation of "international laws and regulations".

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, speaking on behalf of Secretary General Antonio Guterres, stresses that "the status of the Golan Heights has not changed" and the resolutions adopted in the past are still valid. Meanwhile in Syria protests are multiplying in various cities against the US administration's move: citizens took to the streets in Homs (center), Qamichli and Hassaké (Kurdish areas in the north-east), Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor ( est), in the capital Damascus and Lattakia and Tartous, fiefdoms of President Bashar al-Assad.

Finally, Russia warns of the specter of a "new wave of tension" in the Middle East and the secretary of the Arab League Ahmad Aboul Gheit speaks of "a null decision, which did not take place in form or in substance". For Riyadh the Golan Heights remains "an occupied Syrian Arab land".

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