March 26, 2019
DUBAI (Reuters) – Four Gulf Arab states on Tuesday rejected a U.S. decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, with Riyadh warning the move would hurt the peace process and affect regional stability.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait – all regional allies of Washington that host American troops – criticized the move by President Donald Trump to recognize Israel’s 1981 annexation, and said the territory was occupied Arab land.
“It will have significant negative effects on the peace process in the Middle East and the security and stability of the region,” a statement on Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA said.
It described Monday’s declaration as a clear violation of the United Nations Charter and of international law.
Kuwait and Bahrain said they regretted the decision while Qatar called on Israel to end its occupation of the Golan Heights and comply with international resolutions.
Trump, with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking over his shoulder during a visit to Washington, signed a proclamation on Monday officially granting U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War and annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.
(Reporting by Mohamed El-Sherif and Maher Chmaytelli, Writing by Sylvia Westall, Editing by William Maclean)