Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday emphasized the fundamental importance of states' territorial integrity under worldwide law, criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks that the United States should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an area seized from Syria and annexed in a move never recognized by the global community.
The Trump decision to recognize the Golan now gives Netanyahu a significant boost before the election, but will also also trigger criticism that the USA president is blatantly meddling in the Israeli elections.
Minutes after Trump's tweet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his appreciation.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an official visit to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem together with Netanyahu and American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Pompeo's events with Netanyahu included a visit to the Western Wall that made him the highest-ranking USA official to visit the Jewish holy site with any Israeli leader and appeared to further signal the Trump administration's support for Israel's control of the contested city.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the global community.
Earlier this month, a senior USA administration official told reporters in Washington that there was "no change in [US] outlook or our policy vis-a-vis these territories and the need for a negotiated settlement there".
Currently, the US designation of Golan Heights is that of disputed territory after Israel captured the region from Syria in 1967 during the Middle East War.
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The presidential order enraged Palestinians, who see the largely Palestinian region of East Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian nation qhose existence the US hasn't acknowledged.
But the Trump administration has upended the longstanding policy, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem a year ago after recognizing the city as Israel's capital.
The prime minister had been expected to raise the issue again with Trump during his visit to Washington, an Israeli official said.
When Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, he said it did not determine the city's final borders. Pompeo, a Christian, also stopped at the church. "A better life for the Palestinian people, a better life and less conflict risk between the Palestinians and the Israelis".
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Pompeo's visit added additional obstacles to peace hopes. "We need to help them figure out how to do that", Pompeo said. It was not immediately clear how a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Golan might be affected by the USA move.
The Trump State Department has likewise dropped previous definitions of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as being "occupied" by the Jewish state.
"We think we understand how this went down, we think we understand those who were involved", Pompeo said.