Syria asks UN Security Council to discuss Golan Heights

Trump proclaimed Israel's sovereignty over the strategic highlands important for security, but Syria is demanding the territory.

A MAN stands at Mount Bental, an observation post on the Golan Heights that overlooks the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing, on January 21. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A MAN stands at Mount Bental, an observation post on the Golan Heights that overlooks the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing, on January 21.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Washington - The Syrian mission to the United Nations is urging the UN Security Council to call a meeting regarding President Donald Trump's decision to sign a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. A UN official toldThe Jerusalem Post he estimated a meeting on this matter would take place in the upcoming weeks.
 
The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the letter sent to the French Mission to the UN, the country currently serving as president of the Security Council. In the letter, the Syrian Mission asking for "urgent formal meeting of the Security Council under the agenda item 'the situation in the Middle East,' in order to discuss the situation in the occupied Syrian Golan and the recent flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council's resolution by a permanent member state."
Syrian letter to the UN regarding the Golan HeightsSyrian letter to the UN regarding the Golan Heights
 
Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, told the Post, "the Golan Heights will remain forever under Israeli sovereignty and the time has come for the international community to recognize this. Instead, the Security Council should demand answers from Syria about [Syrian President Bashar] Assad slaughtering his people and, at the same time, allowing Iran to establish a military presence to operate against the State of Israel."
 
On Monday, during the ceremonial act of signing the proclamation at the White House, President Trump said "the State of Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats. Today, aggressive action by Iran and terrorist groups in southern Syria, including Hezbollah, continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks against Israel." 
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu told Trump that “over the years, Israel has been blessed to have many friends who have sat in the Oval Office, but Israel has never had a better friend than you. You have shown this time and again.”
 
“Your recognition is a two-fold act of historical justice,” Netanyahu said. “Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of self-defense, and the Jewish people’s roots in the Golan go back thousands of years.”
 
Russia, the EU, and the Arab League rejected the declaration. "Such decisions undoubtedly have negative consequences from the point of view of a settlement in the Middle East and the general atmosphere of a political settlement in Syria," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The Golan Heights was part of Syria from 1948 to 1967. It was officially annexed as part of Israel in 1981 and today has approximately 50,000 residents.