21:27 GMT14 May 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    US Republican Senator - Lindsey Graham - is set to push the Trump administration to formally recognise the disputed region of the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Sputnik has discussed the issue with Abdulaziz Alghashian, a Middle East expert and PhD researcher of international relations and politics of the Middle East at Essex University.

    Sputnik: So what are your thoughts regarding why at this point in time Mr Graham is calling for the formal recognition of the disputed Golan Heights region?

    Abdulaziz Alghashian: I think it’s an interesting time now. It’s coinciding with the end of the Civil War in Syria and I think many in the world are becoming more convinced that Syria now is going to be in the hands of Assad and not another party which was contending to be at the head of Syria. Syria's fate years before and years prior was not known. So not many people could make a very certain policy towards Syria and as a result I think now Lindsey Graham understands very much that it’s going to be Assad who is going to be in power and is going to be the main claimer of the Golan Heights. And Assad is viewed as pro-Iran or equivalent to Iran, which means that this is anti-Israel. So I think that’s what the motivation of Lindsey Graham is. It’s more or less the perception of the leadership of Syria, and that explains the timing now.

    READ MORE: Lindsey Graham to Push US to Recognize Golan Heights as Israeli Territory

    Sputnik: What do you think are the odds that the Trump administration will indeed move to recognise the region, is this a done deal? Is he going to face any backlash?

    Abdulaziz Alghashian: It’s not a done deal, I think that has to be mentioned, but it is likely that this will happen. And the reason being, if the answer was that it won't be likely this will be the result of a strong pro-Arab unity. Let’s not forget, also there’s been an Arab peace initiative, 53 Arab and Muslim states have mentioned and this basically has exemplified and unified a response towards returning to the 1967 borders, including the Golan Heights. But right now the Arab League, the Arab states are just in disarray. So they’re very fragmented and they know this. So this is what makes it more likely that the United States administration now is going to, perhaps, recognise this annexation. And I think they’re going to dig a hole for the United States that’s going to be slightly deeper to get out of later on, for other administration. This is going to be very significant and on the Arab streets and the Muslims streets people are not going to forget this, it will be stuck in history.

    READ MORE: Israel Declassifies Intel on "Secret Hezbollah Group" in Syrian Golan Heights

    Sputnik: What’s going to be the international response? There’s obviously going to be some repercussions.

    Abdulaziz Alghashian: What we can see is that the United Nations in regard to the Arab-Israeli or Palestinian situation, the United Nations is very much not at the mercy but at the whim of the United States; because it’s the one that holds the veto power. And I think it is something important to be mentioned here as well about the United Nations and Israel. The United States have always claimed that the United Nations has been hostile towards Israel, but it was actually the United Nations that legitimised the state of Israel. And I find it very, very ironic that the body that legitimised Israel as a state, that recognised it as a state, is now the body that’s being the most hostile. So it’s very much at the whim of the superpower at the time, and this is characteristic of historical political Zionism.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Lindsey Graham, Bashar al-Assad, Golan Heights, Israel, Syria
    Community standardsDiscussion