Netanyahu Raises Golan Heights Sovereignty During Bolton Visit

(Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to convince Washington of the importance of global recognition for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as part of U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton’s trip to Israel.

Netanyahu said he has raised the issue with President Donald Trump and hopes to impress it upon Bolton on Monday during a visit -- weather permitting -- to the country’s northeastern region, which Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, a move that wasn’t recognized internationally.

The U.S. hasn’t recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, but in November for the first time the U.S. said it planned to vote against a United Nations resolution calling for Israel to end its occupation of the area.

“When you’re there, you’ll be able to understand perfectly why we’ll never leave the Golan Heights and why it’s important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,’’ Netanyahu said at a joint press conference with Bolton Sunday evening in Jerusalem.

“I’ve discussed this with the President and I hope I have a chance to show it directly to you tomorrow on our visit,” he added.

The push comes amid Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw its forces from Syria. Bolton said on Sunday that the U.S.’s departure from northeast Syria will happen “in a way that makes sure that ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again, and to make sure that the defense of Israel and our other friends in the region is absolutely assured.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.