President Donald Trump’s formal recognition last week of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan sparked widespread international condemnation. The announcement signalled a major shift in American policy and gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost ahead of April elections.
Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui spoke to a meeting of Arab ministers ahead of the annual Arab League summit, on the issue. The summit was hosted this year by Tunisia is likely to focus on Washington’s decision and its earlier move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“We will work with fellow Arab countries and the international community to contain the expected repercussions of this decision in the various regional and international forums,” Jhinaoui told the meeting in Tunis.
Syria and many other Arab states heavily criticised Trump’s move.
The Saudi and Tunisian foreign ministers joined the outcry from Tunis.
Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Assef said his country “categorically rejects” the US 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.”
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 Arab League secretary-general, Ahmed Abu Ghaith, called the US decision “disappointing,” and warned that it would “encourage the occupation of territories by force and feed extremism.”
The speakers at the summit further pledged their support to the Palestinians’ pursuit of an independent state as part of a two-state solution.
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 US recognition of Israeli sovereignty.
Meeting in the Turkish Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya on Friday, the Turkish and Russian foreign ministers also denounced the decision.
“I feel this is the conscious, deliberate demonstration of permissiveness,” Russia’s Sergei Lavrov told reporters at a joint news conference. “Such demonstration of permissiveness, along with intimidations, ultimatums, and sanctions, are basically the toolkit which the US uses in foreign policy. It is sad.”
Turkey’s top diplomat, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said the decision “does not add to the region’s peace and stability, on the contrary, it creates unrest and chaos in the region.”
He added: “It is out of the question for us to accept and recognise such a decision.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday the decision is a reminder to Arab and Muslim countries that US and Israel “will steal your lands.”
Iran doesn’t recognise Israel and supports Syria and anti-Israeli militant groups like Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah group.