US recognition of Golan Heights annexation undermines stability in region — Lavrov

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MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. The Israeli-Syrian agreement on the disengagement of Syrian and Israeli forces in the Golan Heights is under threat due to the US decision to recognize the region’s annexation by Israel, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper published on Saturday.

“The implementation of the 1974 agreement regarding the disengagement of the Syrian and Israeli troops has been put at risk,” he said. “Let me remind you that leaders of the United States and Israel once asked for our help in providing necessary conditions for implementing this agreement. We did so.”

Lavrov added that thanks to efforts of the Russian military police, which has been deployed in regions adjacent to the Golan Heights, the Disengagement Observer Force was able to resume its mission in the disengagement zone, including with the purpose of ensuring Israel’s security.

“The US recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights may shatter the stability, which was achieved through hard work,” he said.

Russia’s top diplomat added that Washington’s recognition of Israel’s annexation has once again revealed the US determination “to destroy the generally accepted foundation of the international law, which lays the basis for the quest to find ways of settling the Middle East issue.”

He added that US actions in the Middle East are in line with Washington’s policy of “destroying the cornerstone international agreements, of replacing the international law with what it calls the ‘rule-based order.’”

Russia’s top diplomat reiterated that Moscow fully recognizes Syria’s sovereignty over the territory and its stance on the Golan Height issue remains unchanged.

“We are consistently guided by the UN Security Council Resolution 497, dated December 17, 1981, according to which Israel’s decision to establish its laws, jurisdiction and sovereignty over the above-mentioned territory of Syria is null and void,” he continued. “The overwhelming majority of the international community members, including United States’ closest allies, share the same stance.”

On March 25, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights during talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Golan Heights, which had belonged to Syria since 1944, were seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1981, the Israeli parliament passed a law unilaterally declaring sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The UN Security Council declared the annexation null and void in its Resolution 497 of December 17, 1981.

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