Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to take to the UN the issue of the Israeli regime’s claim over the occupied Golan Heights, as the US president is to recognize Tel Aviv’s sovereignty over the Syrian territory.
Erdogan made the remarks in an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber on Sunday.
He also said US President Donald Trump’s statement on Golan Heights was a “gift” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of elections there.
Netanyahu has long pushed for such recognition and many analysts share Erdogan’s view that Trump’s Golan Heights announcement was a campaign gift ahead of Israel’s legislative elections on April 9.
The prime minister faces an increasingly tough time ahead as his biggest political opponent overtakes him in popularity and as calls mount for him to resign over looming corruption charges that could effectively end his political career.
Trump on Thursday declared his bid to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian territory, marking a dramatic shift in US policy.
In a speech at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday, Erdogan said the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights cannot be allowed.
He also told an election rally in Turkey’s central province of Konya on the same day, “Under UN resolutions, Israel cannot lay claim on even a small bit of the Golan Heights.”
“Trump’s remarks about the Golan Heights could lead the region to a new escalation […] This is not acceptable.”
The remarks come as Trump is to sign an order recognizing the Israeli regime’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan, according to Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz.
In a post on his Twitter account on Sunday, Katz added that Trump would issue the decree on Monday in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.
“President Trump will sign tomorrow in the presence of PM Netanyahu an order recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” the foreign minister said.
The strategic highlands have been under the Israeli occupation since 1967, but Trump’s abrupt declaration brings the dispute to a boiling point.
Trump’s decision is the latest major move in favor of the regime of Israel. In December 2017, he formally recognized al-Quds as the so-called capital of Israel and later moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, which Palestinians view as the capital of their future state.