Turkish FM slams US decision on Golan Heights

By Tevfik Durul

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's foreign minister on Thursday slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet on the occupied Golan Heights.

“The territorial integrity of states is the most fundamental principle of international law,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu in a tweet.

“Attempts by the U.S. to legitimize Israel's actions against international law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region. Turkey supports Syria's territorial integrity,” he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump said in tweet it was time the U.S. recognizes Israel's control of the occupied Golan Heights.

Congressional momentum has been building on Capitol Hill for the change, and the State Department last week changed its terminology for the first time on the contested territory, referring to it as "Israeli-controlled" instead of its previous usage of "Israeli-occupied."

Israel has long pushed Washington to recognize its claim over the territory it seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel occupies roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the conflict. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 — an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic