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Russia warns of 'new wave' of Mideast tensions after US Golan move

File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Moscow, Russia Mar 25, 2019, 11.18 PM (IST)

Moscow said it feared "a new wave of tensions" in the Middle East following the decision by Washington to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, which are claimed by Russian ally Syria.

The comments come after US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation in recognition of Israeli claims over the Golan Heights, a border area seized from Syria in 1967.

Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the move "ignores all international procedures" and would "only aggravate the situation".

"Unfortunately, this could drive a new wave of tensions in the Middle East region," Zakharova said in a radio broadcast, according to Russian news agencies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meeting Trump at the White House on Monday, called the recognition "historic" and said the Golan Heights would remain permanently under Israeli control. 

The move, which breaks with decades of international consensus, drew criticism from the Syrian government, which called it a "blatant attack" on its sovereignty.

Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov said the US decision leads to "a gross violation of international law, blocks the resolution of the Syrian crisis and aggravates the situation in all the Middle East," he said during a telephone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to his ministry.

Story highlights

The comments come after US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation in recognition of Israeli claims over the Golan Heights, a border area seized from Syria in 1967.