Trump decision on Golan causes angst at Arab League summit

Arab League summit to focus on condemning President Donald Trump’s decision on Golan Heights. 

By World Israel News Staff

Arab leaders will gather Sunday in Tunisia’s capital for an Arab League summit where opposition to the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights is expected to dominate the discussion, Reuters reports.

Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemais Jhinaoui, whose country assumed the Arab League presidency this year from Saudi Arabia, called Trump’s proclamation a “void decision with no legal foundation,” adding, “we will work to fight against all the damage that could result from this,” the Associated Press reports.

“Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said on Saturday Arab ministers had expressed support for a proposal to declare that the U.S. move violated the U.N. charter against acquiring land by force,” Reuters reported.

Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Assef said his country “categorically rejects” the U.S. decision on the Golan Heights. He called it a “vain attempt to impose a fait accompli” and warned that it would have “serious negative repercussions on security and stability for the region.”

Although the Arab heads of state gathering on Sunday will support Syrian control of the Golan, there is still no consensus among the 22-member Arab League to reinstate Syria to its ranks, Reuters reports. Syria was suspended from the League since 2011 due to its violent reaction to Arab protesters at the start of the civil war.

The summit will be the first time Saudi Arabia and Qatar attend the summit since 2017. Saudi Arabia, and a host of other countries, severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in June 2017 over its alleged support for terrorism, which Qatar denies.

Iran also protests Golan move

Although Saudi Arabia still considers Iran the most serious threat to the region, the two countries see eye-to-eye on the Golan issue.

Iranians will “resist” the Trump administration’s acceptance of Israeli control over the occupied Golan Heights, Iran’s president said Friday.

Hassan Rouhani said the U.S. move is “trampling on international regulations about the Golan.” Iranians, too, “should resist and that way gain victory” over the U.S. and Israel, he said.

Meanwhile, in Jordan thousands of demonstrators poured through the streets of the capital on Friday, holding anti-Israel signs and chanting slogans to protest the U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday the decision is a reminder to Arab and Muslim countries that U.S. and Israel “will steal your lands.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.