TURKEY

President Erdoğan slams Trump, says Golan Heights belong to Syria

The United States has no jurisdiction or right to "give" the Golan Heights to Israel, Turkey's President Erdoğan said late Tuesday.

"Whose lands are you giving to Israel, Trump? Those lands are Syrian soil according to the U.N.," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said late Tuesday during a rally in Istanbul, crticizing the U.S. president's controversial decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Speaking at an election rally in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said voters in Israel will go to the polls on April 9.

Erdoğan said U.S. President Donald Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come the U.S. and signed a proclamation on the Golan Heights because of the elections in Israel, implying that Trump's move was made to ensure more electoral support for Netanyahu.

He said the Golan Heights completely belongs to Syria according to UN resolutions and the U.S. is attempting to give this territory to Israel.

"You do not have jurisdiction or a right like that," Erdoğan stressed.

Erdoğan said the U.S. move on the Golan Heights is not recognized by the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Russia or China.

"Speaking the truth with courage is our duty," he said.

Erdoğan added that Turkey, as the term president of the OIC, responded to the U.S. move on the Golan Heights and will also respond in the future.

On Monday, Trump signed a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The UN said the Golan Heights is still considered an "occupied territory" under international law, despite Trump's announcement.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

It continues to occupy roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights region as a direct result of the conflict.

In 1981, Israel formally annexed the territory in a move unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.

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