In major shift, Trump says US should recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan

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US President Donald Trump said Thursday that the time has come to “fully recognize” Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, in another monumental shift in US Mideast policy by his administration.

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!,” Trump tweeted.

Following the announcement, Prime Minister Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Trump by phone to thank him. “You made history,” his office quoted him telling the US president.

Netanyahu also put out a tweet welcoming Trump’s statement.

“At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump,” he said. He issued similar praise at a joint press conference he held Thursday evening with visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Though Trump said it was “time” for action, it was not clear that his statement constituted official recognition.

On Wednesday, Israeli and US officials had said they expected an announcement on US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan could come next week.

Trump’s tweet came hours after Pompeo was joined by Netanyahu for a visit of the Western Wall, the first time that Washington’s top diplomat has visited Jerusalem’s contested Old City accompanied by a senior Israeli official.

Read More: Times of Israel