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Egypt's Mubarak: If Syria recognised Israel, it would have regained Golan Heights

Israel wanted to normalise relations with Syria and to have diplomatic links with its neighbour in order to returned the occupied Golan Heights, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is reported to have said.

In an interview to Cairo24, TV presenter Ahmed Al-Sayed said the former president told him: "I have contacted the Israelis to try to recover the Golan Heights, but they demanded the opening of an Israeli embassy in Damascus and a Syrian one on their land as a kind of Syrian recognition of the Israeli state."

Mubarak, the Egyptian interviewer noted, revealed that the former Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad had rejected the Israeli offer at the time. "That was the result," Mubarak added, referring to the recent US decision to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

On Sunday, the local TV channel Al-Hayat announced that it would broadcast a telephone interview between Al-Sayed and Mubarak, but the channel later refused to release the dialogue due to "unexpected circumstances".

READ: The throne in exchange for Golan Heights

On 25 March, the US President Donald Trump recognised Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The decision was condemned by Arab activists and politicians. Arab leaders said on Sunday they would seek a UN Security Council resolution against the Trump's decision.

The mountainous plateau was part of Syria until Israel captured it in the 1967 Middle East war, annexing it in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.

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