The US Secretary of State makes the first visit by a US top diplomat to occupied Golan Heights.

Iran PressMiddle East: The tour came after Mike Pompeo visited the Israeli settlement of Psagot which built on agricultural lands belonging to Ramallah’s twin city of al-Bireh.

Dozens of Palestinians demonstrated outside the settlement and Israeli soldiers responded with tear gas.

“You can’t stand here and stare out at what’s across the border and deny the central thing that President Donald Trump recognized, what the previous presidents have refused to do,” Pompeo said.

The US secretary of state referred to Trump’s controversial decision in 2019 to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the area, a move that was decried by the international community and by Syria which defined it a “blatant attack”.

Related news:

Iran president censures Trump 'unilateral' Golan recognition

The Syrian government condemned the visit as “provocative”.

“Pompeo’s visit is a provocative step before the end of the Trump administration’s term and a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic,” said a foreign ministry statement, carried by state news agency SANA.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights in June 1967, and formally annexed it in 1981, a move that has never been recognized by the international community. 

207/104

Read more:

Differences between Egypt and United States remain over Golan Heights

Lebanon does not recognise Israeli 'sovereignty' over Golan Heights

Differences between Egypt and United States remain over Golan Heights