'UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen has underlined Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, rejecting a US congressional motion to recognize Israel's annexation of the occupied territory.
“Obviously the Security Council is very clear that the Golan is Syrian territory, and the first aspect of [Resolution] 2254 is of course the territorial integrity of Syria,” Pedersen told reporters at a Security Council briefing on Syria held on Thursday in New York.
He made the comments in response to a question regarding a bill introduced by Republican members of the US congress which seeks to recognize Syria’s Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
The measure, brought by Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton as well as Representative Mike Gallagher, cites concerns about what the lawmakers call a “threat” posed by Iran.
“The United States has been committed for over 40 years to ensuring Israel’s security from attacks emanating from across the Golan Heights,” the bill’s sponsors said Wednesday.
Israeli officials have long pushed for US recognition of the Tel Aviv regime’s sovereignty claims over the territory, which was seized from Syria in 1967.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly discussed the issue with both US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to the White House in 2017, urging them to recognize Israel’s sovereignty.
Netanyahu has stepped up his efforts over the past years, using the presence of Iranian military advisers and Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah’s fighters in Syria as a scare tactic to convince US leaders.
This comes as the United Nations has time and again stressed Syria’s sovereignty over the occupied heights. Back in December 2018, the majority of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Israeli regime to withdraw from the entirety of the Syrian Golan Heights.'
Read more: UN rejects US move to recognize Golan annexation by Israel
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