Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Mike Pompeo that the US should recognise Israel's claim over occupied Golan Heights.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday urged the US to recognise what he called Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
"The time has come for the United States to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was visiting Jerusalem on Wednesday, according to Jerusalem Post.
Netanyahu said Israel wants to establish a military base along the Golan Heights’ borders to stop militants.
"Last week we uncovered efforts by Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, to build up a terror network on the Golan Heights – and you can all imagine what would happen if we were not in the Golan," the Jerusalem Post quoted Netanyahu as saying.
"I think it is time for the international community to recognise Israel’s stay on the Golan – the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the State of Israel," he said.
Pompeo refused to answer a direct question on the status of the West Bank and the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Jordan and Syria, respectively, during its war with them in 1967.
Before Pompeo arrived in Jerusalem, during a brief news conference in the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said that “There has been no change in the (US) policy.”
The State Department dropped the word “occupied” as a description of the areas in its annual human rights report this year.
Pompeo and Netanyahu attended a meeting in Jerusalem with leaders from the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece on building a 2,000-kilometer long gas pipeline to link vast eastern Mediterranean gas reserves to Europe.
Pompeo’s visit to Jerusalem is part of a Mideast tour that includes Kuwait and Lebanon.