According to the White House, President Obama has rejected a suggestion from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Washington’s possible recognition of Israeli rule over the occupied Golan Heights.
A senior White House official said that the US position, which objects to Israel annexing the Golan Heights remains unchanged.
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The unnamed White House official said Netanyahu’s proposal was unjustified and could even harm US-backed militants fighting the Syrian government.
“I think that it was clear the US is not going to change its position about the future of the Golan. … We [have] always said it has to be negotiated in line with [UN Security Council resolutions] 242 and 338. This has been and remains our position and it will not change,” he said.
The Obama administration official said Netanyahu raised the issue with Obama as part of a wider discussion during their meeting at the White House on Monday.
The official said Obama left the plea unanswered, and both leaders failed to elaborate on the matter with reporters.
During the meeting, Netanyahu also told Obama that he fears Iran’s growing influence in the region and clarified Israel’s purported red lines with regards to Syria.
“We won’t tolerate attacks from Syrian territory, we won’t allow Iran to open a front [against us] on the Golan Heights, and we will disrupt the transfer of deadly weaponry from Syria to Lebanon,” Netanyahu told Obama.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 six-day war, which created an armistice line under Israeli military control. The regime then proceeded to unilaterally annex the lands, a move that has yet to be recognized by the international community.
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