(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed territory of the Golan Heights after more than 50 years.
“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” he tweeted.
An hour later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he thanked Trump for his decision to acknowledge the Golan Heights, adding that Trump has made history.
“I spoke a short time ago with the President Donald Trump and thanked him for the decision to acknowledge the Golan Heights. President Trump, you made history!” Netanyahu tweeted.
The announcement comes on the eve of a visit by Netanyahu to the United States.
The White House announced Wednesday that Trump will host Israeli leader on March 25 for a working meeting to “discuss their countries’ shared interests and actions in the Middle East,” followed by a White House dinner on March 25.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently in Israel, where he visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem. He’s the highest ranking U.S. leader to visit the Western Wall with an Israeli leader.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) applauded Trump’s decision, saying it “is strategically wise and overall awesome.”
“Well done, Mr. President! The Golan was used by Syria in two wars of aggression against Israel. Additionally, Syrian President Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah need to pay a price for dismembering Syria. To return the Golan Heights to Syria would be to reward aggression and put the Jewish State at perpetual risk,” Graham said in a statement.
“It is now time for Congress to follow President Trump’s lead on this issue. I’m urging Senate leadership to take up Senator Cruz’s legislation to recognize that the Golan Heights are part of Israel. I hope and believe there is widespread bipartisan support for this proposal. Congressional passage would reinforce President Trump’s decision as United States policy,” the senator added.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also praised the president’s decision.
“I applaud @realDonaldTrump for taking the long overdue step of recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. It’s an enormously important signal that we stand with our allies and against our enemies, and will be heard by both,” Cruz tweeted.