Prague Considers Golan Heights Occupied Territory – Czech Foreign Minister

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PRAGUE (Sputnik) – The Czech Republic clings to the European Union’s position and the UNSC Resolution viewing the Golan Heights as the area occupied by Israel, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said in the wake of the US decision to recognize the Golan as a part of the Israeli territory.

“The Czech Republic fully supports the UNSC resolution on the Golan Heights. We also support the joint European position according to which this territory is considered as occupied. We do not want to violate international law or international resolutions in any way”, Petricek said after his meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil on Wednesday. Bassil, in his turn, argued that Trump’s decision violated Syria’s rights.

Moreover, the Lebanese top diplomat asked Prague not to pursue the planned relocation of the Czech embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to disputed Jerusalem.

READ MORE: US Calls on Russia to Compel Syrians to Leave Area Near Golan Heights — Envoy

US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on the issue on Monday. Notably, the Czech Republic was one of the states that said it planned to follow the US example and relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The US move, which is widely regarded as beneficial not only for Israel but personally for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running in the 9 April parliamentary elections, has already been condemned by Russia, Syria, Iran, Turkey and other countries. US major allies, such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, have similarly refused to back the US U-turn on the Golan, which runs against the UN Security Council resolutions.

The Golan Heights has been mostly under Israel’s control since the country seized the area during the 1967 Six-Day War. While Israel adopted a law that de facto annexed the territory in 1981, the United Nations declared that the move was void, without any legal effects. In 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging Israel to immediately withdraw its forces from the area after the country organized local elections in the area on 30 October.

READ MORE: EU Still Refuses to Recognise Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

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