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Golan Heights will always remain Arab Syrian territory: envoy

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UN-SECURITY COUNCIL-SYRIA-ENVOY-GOLAN HEIGHTS

Bashar Jaafari, Syria's permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks to journalists at the UN headquarters in New York, March 22, 2019. Bashar Jaafari said Friday that the Syrian Golan will always remain an Arab Syrian territory, reacting to U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise tweet that the United States would recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

UNITED NATIONS, March 22 (Xinhua) -- A Syrian envoy said Friday that the Syrian Golan will always remain an Arab Syrian territory, reacting to U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise tweet that the United States would recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

"The statement made by the American President and his administration officials regarding the occupied Syrian Golan, and the visits of individuals who claim their representation of the American people, will never change the fact that the Syrian Golan was and will remain an Arab Syrian territory," Bashar Jaafari, Syria's permanent representative to the United Nations, told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

"The Syrian people are more resolute and determined than ever to liberate this precious part of the Syrian territory by all means, and regain the Syrian sovereignty right over it," he added.

Trump has overturned decades of U.S. policy by saying in a tweet Thursday that it was time to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967.

Trump said in the tweet that the plateau was of "critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability."

"The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns this irresponsible statement on the legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan," the Syrian ambassador said.

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