Britain denounces Trump’s move recognising Syria's Golan as Israeli

Britain denounces Trump’s move recognising Syria's Golan as Israeli
Despite criticising the US recognition of Israeli sovereignty of the disputed territory, Jeremy Hunt praised Israel as a regional ally.
2 min read
03 April, 2019
Jeremy Hunt condemned the annexation of the Golan in parliament on Tuesday [Getty]
The UK's foreign secretary is the latest to criticise Donald Trump's decision to recognise the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, in remarks made in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Nicholas Soames, a Conservative Party veteran, demanded  Britain condemn "unreservedly" the illegal annexation of the territory, to which Hunt responded he was “absolutely happy to do that”.

"We should never recognise the annexation of territory by force… that has been one of the great achievements since the founding of the United Nations," Hunt said.

However the foreign secretary was quick to alse defend Israel as "a shining example of democracy in a part of the world where that is not common."

Read more: The Golan Heights and a new, imperial world order

"We want Israel is to a success and we consider them to be a great friend but on this we do not agree," he added.

Critics say that in light of Israel's occupation of almost 5 million Palestinian residents of the occupied territories and the restricted rights of its Arab citizens, Israel cannot be considered a true democracy.

Britain previously condemned Trump's characteristically dramatic policy change over the Golan last week as part of a statement from the five European countries that sit on the UN Security Council.

The conclusion of the Arab League summit on Sunday also focused on the Golan Heights, whereby Arab leaders made a statement of condemnation.

Read more: Recognising Israel's claim to the occupied Golan Heights isn't about security, but capitalism

The Trump administration's widely criticised policy changes on Jerusalem and the Golan seem to be a pre-cursor to the long-awaited US peace plan for the Middle East, spearheaded by presidentional son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the plan will break with longstanding US stances on issues such as Jerusalem and Israeli settlements.

In a statement given to Congress, Pompeo repeatedly demurred when asked if the Trump administration stood by the decades-old US position in support of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.