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    Syria Calls Israel Main Beneficiary of Middle Eastern Crises - Deputy Foreign Minister

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    BAKU (Sputnik) - Israel has been the main beneficiary of the Syrian war and other crises across the Middle East, and Damascus will stand by its sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Saturday speaking at the 18h Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Baku.

    "We all know that the first beneficiary of what is happening in Syria and the region is the Israeli occupation that has been going on for decades with no punishment. Not only did Israel occupy the Palestinian territories and Syria's Golan Heights and parts of Lebanon in addition to its crimes against occupied refugees, but it [Israel] also conducted unprecedented assaults on my country and other countries in the region," Mekdad said.

    In the Syrian politician's opinion, this situation might lead to "unexpected scenarios and threats to international peace and security."

    "Therefore we reiterate that the terrorist war against Syria and the repeated attacks on its territorial integrity will not make us abandon our struggle based on the international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions," Mekdad added.

    He emphasized that the Golan Heights remains a Syrian territory, and it is not up to the United States to decide who it belongs to.

    Israel established military control over the Golan Heights in 1967 and annexed it in 1981, albeit the annexation was never recognised by the United Nations. The Golan Heights is widely seen as an exceptionally important strategic area, chiefly due to the fact that it offers a clear view of both Syria and Israel.

    In March, US President Donald Trump declared endorsement of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

    The NAM was established in 1961 to unite developing states that are not part of any collective defence pacts in the interest of any major power. Today, it is the second-largest international organisation after the United Nations with 120 member states. It was formed in the wake of decolonisation processes in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world around the values of independence, equality, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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    Middle East, Israel, Syria
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