Arab League severs ties with Guatemala over embassy move

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the inauguration ceremony of the inauguration ceremony of Guatemala’s embassy in Jerusalem on May 16, 2018. Guatemala inaugurated its Israel embassy in Jerusalem on May 15, becoming the first country to follow in the footsteps of the United States’ deeply controversial move, breaking with decades of international consensus. (AFP)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Arab League severs ties with Guatemala over embassy move

CAIRO: The Arab League says it will no longer cooperate on any level with Guatemala because of the country’s decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Cairo-based organization says Wednesday it has abandoned a memorandum of understanding signed in 2013 and has severed relations with the South American country.
Guatemala moved its embassy to Jerusalem earlier this month, following the inauguration of the US Embassy in disputed Jerusalem.
Guatemala was the first country to put its embassy in Jerusalem, in 1956. It moved the facility 24 years later to Tel Aviv, after the Israeli parliament declared Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital in contravention of a United Nations resolution.
Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.


Saudi Arabia joins Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 13 min 25 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia joins Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia joined Arab states on Monday in condemning a decision by the United States to recognize the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Breaking decades of international consensus, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Saudi Arabia firmly rejected the decision and affirmed its position that Golan Heights was occupied Syrian Arab land in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The declaration, made by the US, is a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the report said.

The US decision was a violation of Security Council resolutions 242 of 1967 and 497 of 1981, and would have devastating implications on the peace process in the Middle East, as well as security and stability in the region, Saudi Arabia’s official statement said.

Saudi Arabia called on all parties to respect the decisions of international legitimacy and the charter of the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that the decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory,

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.