Turkey will never allow occupation of Golan Heights to be legitimised, Erdoğan says

U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement on Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights has brought the region to the edge of a new crisis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday, adding that Turkey would never allow Israeli occupation to be legitimised.

Trump said on Thursday on Twitter it would benefit Israel’s security and regional stability for the United States to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a region that Israel seized from Syria in 1967.

Erdoğan called Trump’s remarks unfortunate while speaking at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Erdoğan said the OIC’s primary responsibility was to defend the rights of the people of Jerusalem against Israeli assaults.

“We will never allow, and cannot allow, the legitimisation of the occupation of Golan Heights. In this fragile period, we have to be active on issues that directly concerns us,” the Turkish president said.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also commented on Trump’s statement on Friday on Twitter.

“The territorial integrity of states is the most fundamental principle of international law. Attempts by the United States to legitimise Israel's actions against international law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region,” he said.

Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, one of the most disputed territories in the world, in a move not recognised internationally.

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