Egypt reiterates ‘consistent position’ on Golan Heights
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, poses with ministers prior to the weekly cabinet meeting in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, Sunday, April 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool)

CAIRO: Cairo stresses its “consistent position” on Golan Heights as an integral part of the Syrian territories, Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated Tuesday.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Cabinet held a meeting at Golan Heights, saying “the Golan will always remain in Israel’s hands. Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights.”

The Israeli statement “violates the principles of international law and legitimacy,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry added.

Meanwhile, the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) said in a Monday statement that Syrians are entitled to uphold their territorial integrity and their right to recover the occupied lands.

“This provocative act comes at a time where the world is looking for new mechanism to spread peace and security and counter terrorism and violence in a region that is full of wars,” NCHR said.

Netanyahu’s statement “neglects and disregards international norms and laws of the United Nations and the Security Council, which confirms the Syrian people’s right to end the occupation of the Golan,” NCHR added.

Israel annexed the Golan Heights after the 1967 war; territories captured by Israel then are still recognized by the international community as “occupied,” with the exception of the Egyptian Sinai.

For his part, U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Monday that the Golan Heights “are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations.”

However, he added that “the current situation in Syria does not allow this.”

Haaretz reported officials in the Prime Minister’s Office as saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had demanded the heights be reaffirmed as occupied Syrian territory.

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