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Russia urges US to refrain from revising international law – diplomat

Washington should stop its unilateral steps undermining the Middle East settlement process, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vladimir Safronkov, told the UN Security Council’s emergency meeting in the wake of the US decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights.

“It is unacceptable when the emerging positive dynamics is undermined by unilateral steps,” Safronkov stressed, noting that the US must “abandon its aggressive revision of international law.” “We are concerned as these unilateral steps may not only complicate the prospects of an all-encompassing settlement in the Middle East but also trigger instability in the region,” the diplomat said.

“Russia’s position remains unchanged. The Golan Heights are the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Safronkov stated.

US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on March 25 recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights during talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Russia and Syria as well as key European countries, including Germany and France, had earlier opposed these unilateral moves.

The Golan Heights, which 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 on December 17, 1981.

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