SUN 18 - 8 - 2019
Date: Mar 28, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
UN council expected to hold urgent meeting on Golan
Agence France Presse
UNITED NATIONS: The U.N. Security Council is expected to hold an urgent public meeting Wednesday on the U.S. decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, the French ambassador said.

Syria requested the meeting in a letter sent Tuesday to France, which holds the council presidency for the month of March.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters a closed-door meeting on the UNDOF peacekeeping force serving on the Golan could be turned into an open session in response to Syria's request.

Delattre said he had sent the proposal for the meeting at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) to council members and was awaiting their comments.

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Monday in which the United States recognized Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau, despite U.N. resolutions that call for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan.

Three U.N. Security Council resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the Golan, which it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, in a move that was never recognized internationally.

At a meeting on the Middle East on Tuesday, several countries spoke out against the US decision and European countries voiced concern that the move could have broad consequences in the region.

U.S. Acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the meeting Washington had made the decision to stand up to Syrian President Bashar al-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.

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