Syria requests urgent Security Council meeting

Syria requests urgent Security Council meeting
An anti-US protest over its Golan move in Tartus, Syria on Wednesday, March. 27, 2019. (AP)
Updated 28 March 2019

Syria requests urgent Security Council meeting

Syria requests urgent Security Council meeting
  • US Golan move stymies Arab states, may boost Iran, says analyst

NEW YORK: Syria asked the UN Security Council on Tuesday to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Monday in which the US recognized Israel’s annexation of the strategic plateau, despite UN resolutions that call for Israel’s withdrawal from the Golan.

In a letter, the Syrian mission to the UN asked the council presidency, held by France, to schedule an urgent meeting to “discuss the situation in the occupied Syrian Golan and the recent flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council’s resolution by a permanent member-state.”

The French presidency did not immediately schedule the meeting and diplomats said there would be a discussion at the council about the request.

On Friday, Syria wrote a separate letter urging the council to uphold resolutions demanding that Israel withdraw from the Golan.

US acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told a council meeting on the Middle East that Washington had made the decision to stand up to Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran.

“To allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Assad regime and malign and destabilizing presence of Iran in the region,” said Cohen.

Trump’s decision could be seen as a “God-send” for Iran which will “try to capitalize on the US-Israeli move to try to fill the void of official Arab leadership” in the region, said Fawaz Gerges, an international relations expert at the London School of Economics.

Arab countries, which have long fought for the Palestinian cause, “have been reduced to extreme fragility and none of them will go to war for Syria,” said Said Sadeq, a political sociology professor.

“Trump’s decisions on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights ensure that Israel will be in a state of perpetual war with its Arab-speaking neighbors,” added Gerges.