DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Syria has condemned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the occupied Golan Heights on Thursday in the strongest language and said it was a provocative act before U.S. President Donald Trump leaves his post, state media said.
Pompeo became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit an illegal Israeli West Bank settlement and the Golan Heights. Palestinians and Arab states said the move would help cement the Zionist regime’s control over occupied territory.
Syria called on the international community and the UN to condemn the "provocative” visit that violated international resolutions, a government source was quoted on state media as saying.
"The visit is a provocative move before the end of Trump’s administration and a flagrant violation of our sovereignty,” the statement said.
Trump angered the international community in 2019 by recognizing the occupying regime’s claim to "sovereignty” over the Golan Heights.
The Heights were part of Syria until 1967, when the Zionist regime occupied most of the area in the Six Day War and annexing it in 1981. That unilateral annexation was not recognized internationally, and Syria demands the return of the territory.
Meanwhile, the Arab League condemned Pompeo’s visit to the occupied territories of Palestine in West Bank and the occupied portion of Syria’s Golan Heights, describing it as a clear violation of international law.
The Arab League issued a statement saying his trip to the occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights is against the norms of international law.
Meanwhile, Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said Pompeo’s visit is aimed at setting another illegal precedent.
She also said Pompeo is "trespassing on Palestinian land stolen by Israel” and "has done enough damage”.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and the resistance movement of Hamas had already decried the planned visit by Pompeo in the occupied West Bank.
In another development, the UN General Assembly’s Second Committee has overwhelmingly approved a draft resolution that called on nations to ensure that they do not treat settlements in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds as a part of the Israeli entity.
The resolution was passed on Wednesday by 156 votes in favor and 6 votes against by Israel, the United States, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru.
Countries which abstained from the anti-Israel resolution included Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Togo, Tonga and Tuvalu.
The document highlighted UN Security Council Resolution 2334, endorsed in December 2016, which pronounced Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds "a flagrant violation under international law,” calling on its member States to ensure that they do not participate in actions of de facto annexation of the occupied lands.