State Department denies any change in US policy on Golan Heights

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Part of the Golan Heights. Photo: Golan Regional Council.

JNS.org – The US State Department has denied that the Biden administration plans to change its policy regarding the Golan Heights after Israel recognizes sovereignty over the region under the Trump administration.

“US policy regarding the Golan has not changed and the information to the contrary is false,” the State Department’s Near East Affairs Department wrote in a tweet on Friday.

Thusday, The Washington Free Beacon reported that the Biden administration was “reversing” its recognition.

The story referred to comments made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in February, where he said that “in practice, the Golan is very important to Israel’s security”, although it did not fully endorsed Israeli sovereignty over the region, saying America could review the region’s status in the future.

“Legal issues are something else. And over time, if things were to change in Syria, that’s something we would look into. But we’re a long way from that, ”Blinken said at the time.

The report also quotes an anonymous State Department official who widely reiterated Blinken’s position from February.

Former US officials and members of Republican Congress, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have expressed concern that the United States could revoke recognition.

Israel took control of the Golan Heights during the Six Day War of 1967 and extended sovereignty over the region in 1981. In 2019, the United States became the first country to recognize it.

Israeli officials said there had been no discussion with the Biden administration over the status of the Golan Heights. “The issue of the Golan Heights was not addressed in the talks with the Americans. It is obvious that the Golan Heights will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty, ”said a senior Israeli diplomatic official. Israel Hayom.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said rumors that the Biden administration was considering changing its policies are part of an effort to undermine US-Israel relations and the new government. “The Golan Heights is a strategic asset and an integral part of the sovereign state of Israel. The United States has recognized our sovereignty over the Golan Heights and its strategic importance for Israel’s security, ”he said.

He added that “anyone who spreads rumors about the cancellation of this recognition is harming [our] security, harm the [US] declaration of sovereignty and is willing (not for the first time) to do real damage to the State of Israel and its relations with the United States, all with the aim of harming the new government.

Lapid is due to hold his first in-person meeting with Blinken on Sunday in Rome.



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