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Tunisia says to coordinate Arab response to US move on Israel, Golan

President Donald Trump holds up an executive proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory at the White House in Washington DC, Monday, 25 March, 2019 [Getty]
President Donald Trump holds up an executive proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory at the White House in Washington DC on 25 March 2019 [Getty]

Tunisia will coordinate with fellow Arab countries to contain any fall-out from the U.S. decision to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said on Friday, Reuters reported.

He was speaking to a meeting of Arab foreign ministers on the eve of the annual Arab League summit, hosted this year by Tunisia and likely to focus on Washington’s Golan decision and its earlier move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“We will work with fellow Arab countries and the international community to contain the expected repercussions of this decision in the various regional and international forums,” Jhinaoui told the meeting in Tunis.

He did not elaborate, but Arab countries want Washington to retract its decision and stop other countries following suit.

READ: Israel official reveals plan to change Golan Heights’ demographic balance

Arab states, which consider the Golan Heights captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war as occupied Syrian land, have condemned last week’s decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognise the plateau as Israeli territory.

Trump also angered Arabs by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv last year.

But a person familiar with the matter said Washington’s Golan and Jerusalem decisions did not appear to have blocked behind-the-scenes security contacts developed in recent years between Israel and the United States’ Gulf Arab allies over their common enemy, Iran.

Tunisia currently holds the rotating presidency of the Arab League and is vying for one of the rotating non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria and Arab East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed both in moves not recognised internationally.

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