US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sidestepped a question on whether the administration of US President Joe Biden would continue to recognize the so-called Israeli ‘sovereignty’ over the occupied Golan Heights.
“As a practical matter, the control of the Golan in that situation I think remains of real importance to Israel’s security,” he responded in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer o Monday.
“Legal questions are something else and over time if the situation were to change in Syria, that’s something we look at, but we are nowhere near that.”
Former President Donald Trump recognized the so-called Israeli ‘sovereignty’ over the Golan Heights in 2019, even though much of the international community sees it as occupied Syrian land. The Zionist regime occupied the territory during the Six-Day War and annexed the region in 1981.
The presence of “Iran and Iran-backed militias in Syria, as well as the Assad regime itself, poses a security threat to Israel,” he said, referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Blinken’s aides had earlier said that Biden would not reverse its stance on Israeli status in the Golan.
The Abraham Accords between Israel and Arab countries are “an important step forward,” he said, referring to normalization deals between the Zionist entity and UAE and Bahrain.
While lauding these agreements, he noted that “doesn’t mean that the challenges of the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians go away.”
When asked if he and the administration agreed with the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he answered: “I do, yes. And more importantly, we do.”
Even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not yet spoken to Biden after his inauguration, Blinken noted that Netanyahu was one of the first world leaders the president spoke to after his election.
“I’m sure that they’ll have occasion to speak in the near future,” Blinken said.