15:48 GMT10 April 2021
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    US allies in the Middle East have reaffirmed their position on the Golan Heights, with the Arab League emphasising that it fully supports Syria's sovereignty over the territory annexed by Israel.

    Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, commenting on US President Donald Trump's statement about the Golan Heights, said that changing the status of the Golan Heights in order to bypass the UN Security Council constituted a direct violation of UN decisions.

    READ MORE: Trump: Time for US to Fully Recognise Israel's Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

    "Russia, as you know, takes a principled position on the issue of the Syrian Arab Republic's ownership of the Golan Heights. This is confirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 497 of 1981. Our assessment of the unlawful nature of Israel's decision to extend its sovereignty to the Golan Heights remains unchanged, " Zakharova said.

    "Changing the status of the Golan Heights bypassing the Security Council is in direct violation of UN decisions," she added.

    The Kremlin has said Friday that the recent statement by US President Donald Trump on the necessity to fully recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights hinders the Middle East settlement and expressed hope that the relevant decision will not be taken.

    "Undoubtedly, such calls may significantly destabilize the already-tense situation in the Middle East. In any case, the idea per se by no means contributes to the Middle East settlement, quite the opposite," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    "In any case, so far it is only a call. We hope that it will remain this way," Peskov added

    Trump previously wrote on Twitter that now was the time for the US to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel. According to him, the time has come to take such a step in the interests of the security of Israel and the region as a whole.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Trump's statement by thanking the US president for his support. Netanyahu on Thursday made a phone call to US President Donald Trump to express gratitude for the statement.

    The Golan Heights, considered by Syria to be a part of its territory, was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. It was not until 1981 that Tel Aviv passed legislation formally annexing the area. The United Nations has not recognised the annexation.


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