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Syria asks UN council to uphold resolutions on Golan

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari has written to the Security Council to demand that it upholds resolutions demanding an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan (AFP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - Syria on Friday asked the UN Security Council to uphold resolutions declaring that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights after President Donald Trump said the United States would recognize Israel's annexation of the territory.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari urged the council to "take practical measures to ensure that the council is fulfilling ... its mandate in the implementation of its resolutions" concerning the Golan, in a letter seen by AFP.

The council is scheduled to discuss the Golan on Wednesday during a meeting on renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force deployed between Israel and Syria in the Golan, known as UNDOF.

Trump broke with decades of US Middle East policy when he posted a Tweet on Thursday that said it was time to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan.

In the letter, the Syrian ambassador also asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to reaffirm the UN position on Israel's occupation of the Golan, which it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Asked about Trump's stance, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said UN policy was based on council resolutions and those of the General Assembly on the status of the Golan.

"The resolutions are of course unchanged," said Haq. "Our policies have not changed in that regard."

The United States backed Resolution 242 adopted in 1967, which calls on Israel to withdraw from territories it occupied in the Six-Day war and refers to the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war".

The council adopted another resolution in 1973 that reaffirmed the demand for a withdrawal and in 1981, backed a separate measure that rejected Israel's annexation of the Golan.

After Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a group of Arab countries presented a resolution in 2017 condemning the decision to the General Assembly that won overwhelming support.

UN diplomats said it was premature to speculate as to whether there would be a similar measure in the assembly.