U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday it is time to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
"After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability!" Trump tweeted.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to thank Trump, writing: "At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!"
Syria condemned Trump's statement vowing to recover the area using "all available means".
Syrian state news agency cited a foreign ministry source on Friday as condemning the irresponsible declaration of the American president, saying that it again proves the U.S. blind tendency in favor of Israel.
"The Syrian people remain committed to the liberation of the Golan Heights by all means at its disposal.”
"This doesn't change the reality that the Golan was and will remain Syrian, Arab," the source said.
"The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means," the source said.
Russia also condemned Trump’s statement as a violation of UN decisions.
“Russia, as you know, takes a principled position on the issue of the Syrian Arab Republic’s ownership of the Golan Heights… Our assessment of the unlawful nature of Israel’s decision to extend its sovereignty to the Golan Heights remains unchanged, ” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by Sputnik News.
“Changing the status of the Golan Heights bypassing the Security Council is in direct violation of UN decisions,” Zakharova added.
Iran slammed Trump's move, deeming it as illegal.
“This illegal and unacceptable recognition does not change the fact that it belongs to Syria,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said, according to Reuters.
For its part, the European Union announced that it will not change its position regarding the Golan Heights.
"The position of the EU has not changed. The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including the Golan Heights, and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory," the spokesperson for the EU delegation to Israel told Haaretz.