Syria has condemned the United States’ decision to recognize Israel’s control over the disputed Golan Heights, which had been considered occupied by the United Nations, in a move bound to disrupt the administration’s ties with the Arab World.

President Donald Trump officially announced the U.S. policy reversal Monday during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and after announcing his decision to do so on Twitter days earlier. Trump argued that Israel took the Golan “in a just war of self-defense” against Syria and its Arab allies in 1967, and said the decision to recognize Israel’s 1981 annexation “should have taken place many decades ago.”

Syria, whose government the U.S. targeted by sponsoring opposition forces in the wake of a 2011 rebel and jihadi uprising, has resolutely condemned the decision. The official Syrian Arab News Agency cited an official within the Syrian Foreign Ministry as calling the move Monday a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and a disregard for all international reactions denouncing this decision.”

The official said the U.S. decision to align itself so closely with Israel “makes it the main enemy of the Arabs” and “represents the highest degree of contempt for international legitimacy and a disgraceful slap to the international community.”


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