01:06 GMT16 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, expressed the belief on Friday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent visit to the Golan Heights is another manifestation of Washington's lack of respect for the international law.

    "We see this as another manifestation of the United States' blatantly disdainful attitude to the globally recognised international legal principles of the Mideastern settlement. The US administration's attempts to give legitimacy to the illegal Israeli settlements contradicts the United Nations Charter and the [UN] Security Council's resolutions", Zakharova said.

    Russia sees the Golan Heights as territory occupied by Israel, and considers the Israeli settlements there to be constructed illegally, Zakharova reaffirmed at a briefing.

    Mike Pompeo travelled to the Golan Heights and the West Bank Jewish settlements last week, making him the first US Secretary of State to do so.

    He stated that the Golan Heights "is a part of Israel and a central part of Israel", highlighting that Trump recognised a "basic fact" that previous presidents had refused to acknowledge.

    Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967, and has been in control of them since 1981 after passing the controversial Golan Heights Law. The status of the mountain plateau is considered one of the main sticking points in the Israeli-Syrian conflict.

    Israel, Golan Heights, US, Russia
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