The United States faced pushback from the European Union and in the UN Security Council for President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The EU Foreign Affairs Department said on March 27 it was the "unanimous position" of all 28 member states to honor the UN resolution that identifies the Golan Heights as occupied territory and rejects the seizure of land by force.
Meanwhile, British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce told the Security Council that the U.S. decision was in contravention of the UN's 1981 resolution.
Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, said Washington's action could fuel instability in the Middle East.
Other European council members -- France, Germany, Belgium and Poland -- also expressed concerns on March 26 about the effects of "recognizing illegal annexation."
Israel seized the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1981, it extended its laws to the region, effectively annexing it, a move not recognized by the international community.
Trump signed a proclamation on March 25 officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, reversing long-standing U.S. policy.
Iran and a number of Arab countries including U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf have also blasted Trump's decision.
During the council session, the United States said that UN peacekeeping forces in the Golan Heights still had a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria."
Trump's Golan decision came after the United States moved its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year, also sparking international criticism as well as Palestinian and Arab anger.
Trump at the time said that Israel had the right to choose its own capital.
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