Pompeo says God may have sent Trump to save Israel from Iran

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Donald Trump announces US should recognise Israeli annexation of Golan Heights

The State Department's deputy spokesman, Robert Palladino, said Pompeo highlighted in the meetings US concerns about Hezbollah's "destabilizing activities in Lebanon and the region" as well as the need to maintain calm along the border between Lebanon and Israel.

Trump's comments recognising Israel's annexation are "completely outside worldwide law", Arab League secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Thursday evening.

'We will never allow the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights, ' Erdogan added. President Donald Trump's move to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights turns the tables on decades of USA diplomacy and global law and threatens to further inflame regional tensions.

"You've made history", Mr. Netanyahu told Mr. Trump in a phone call after the announcement, according to the Prime Minister's office.

The move comes as Israel has been pushing the Trump administration for recognition and some members of the Republican Party are backing the idea.

Netanyahu tweeted his thanks to Mr. Trump, calling it a bold decision - quote - "at a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel". Netanyahu said, "President Trump has made history".

While President Trump's tweet does not officially change US policy, it does signal a greater possibility of seeing the policy changed either through Congress or an official presidential declaration.

Israel says Syria's civil war has reaffirmed the need to keep the plateau - coveted for its water resources and fertile soil - as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and the instability of its neighbor.

While 151 countries voted in support of the resolution, only Israel and the USA voted against it.

"The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, occupied territory, would be contrary to global law, in particular the obligation for states not to recognise an illegal situation", the ministry also said. Earlier this week, Pompeo held a briefing with reporters that caused controversy after a State Department press corps reporter was reportedly disinvited after being told the call was for "faith-based media".

"We discussed the issue of borders and we are seeking to preserve sovereignty and Lebanon has a chance to recover its rights without relinquishing any resources", Bassil added, referring to the issue of demarcating the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.

The two leaders are due to meet in Washington DC next week, when Mr Netanyahu is due to address the pro-Israel lobbying Aipac group.

The Golan Heights is a strategic high ground at the southwestern corner of Syria with stunning, broad views of both Israel and Syria below. "As soon as Mr. Trump's tweet was posted, pro-Moscow Twitter accounts began promoting the idea it cleared the way for eventual global recognition of Russia's annexation of the Crimea Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine five years ago this month".

Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City in the 1967 Middle East war.

While previous secretaries of state have traditionally met with the Palestinians when visiting the region, Pompeo has no such talks planned.

The decision was condemned by Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, and the UN General Assembly demanded its cancellation.

In 1981, Israel's parliament passed legislation applying Israeli "law, jurisdiction, and administration" to the Golan, in effect annexing the territory. The Palestinians have already severed ties with the USA over Washington's Jerusalem policies.

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