Lebanese President Michel Aoun says his country does not recognize Israeli “sovereignty” over the occupied Golan Heights.
During a meeting with a US congressional delegation at the Presidential Palace in Baabda on Friday, Aoun said Beirut’s stance regarding the status of Golan is absolute rejection of Israeli “sovereignty” over the territory, especially as part of it includes the Shebaa Farms and Kafrshuba hills.
Earlier, the Lebanese president had condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Syria’s Golan Heights as “sovereign Israeli territory,” saying the measure was in blatant violation of international law.
“This threatens not only the sovereignty of a brotherly country and brotherly nation, but also the sovereignty of the Lebanese state, which possesses land gradually annexed by Israel, particularly in the Shebaa Farms, Kafrshuba hills and the northern section of Ghajar [village],” Aoun said at a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev in Beirut on April 9.
On March 25, Trumped signed a proclamation, formally recognizing Israel’s “sovereignty” over Golan. The announcement came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.
The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, called the US decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria.
“The liberation of the Golan by all available means and its return to the Syrian motherland is an inalienable right,” according to the statement carried by Syria’s official news agency SANA, which added, “The decision … makes the United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”
The Arab League condemned the move, saying that “Trump’s recognition does not change the area’s status.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was impossible for Turkey to accept the US decision. Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.