18:45 GMT29 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump’s endorsement of the Israeli control over Syria’s Golan Heights changed nothing on the ground and only served to draw support for Syrian sovereignty, Peter Ford, a former UK ambassador to this Arab country, told Sputnik on Friday.

    "The US statement makes absolutely no difference to the situation on the ground, makes Israeli control of the Golan in no way less precarious in terms of international law, and in no way weakens Syria's right to recover its land," Ford said.

    READ MORE: Trump Mulled Recognising Golan Heights as Israel's Territory for Long Time

    He added that the Syrian government, which has been on the receiving end of criticism by Turkey, France, Germany and the Arab League countries over the past years, was now receiving their expressions of support.

    "In Syria itself all Syrians will be angry at the US and more likely to support [President Bashar] Assad. America's clients in Syria — the Kurds and the so-called moderate opposition — will be embarrassed," the former diplomat noted.

    The effect of Trump’s policy shift, Ford said, will be mostly felt domestically in the United States where he seeks to cement the support of the Israeli lobby as he fights to survive scandals, as well as in Israel where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is standing for re-election in less than three weeks.

    The remarks come after on Thursday Trump tweeted that it was time Washington fully recognised the Golan Heights territory as belonging to Israel. Prior to that, the US State Department in its human rights report changed the term "occupied" to "Israeli-controlled", when referring to the territories of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza.

    Israel occupied the Golan Heights in 1967 but was rebuked by the international community, including Washington. Trump ended that policy on Thursday when he tweeted "it is time" to fully recognize Israeli sovereignty over this strategic strip of land for the sake of Israel's security and regional stability.

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

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


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    land dispute, Syria crisis, Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Israel, Syria
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