Don’t compare the situation with the Golan and the Crimea: Pompeo

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged not to compare the situation with the recognition of the Golan Heights as the territory of Israel and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.

“These situations are completely different. Israel received the Golan Heights because it was under attack. He defended … They took this territory to continue to defend themselves … Russia, on the contrary, was not in the defensive position. Russia at a convenient time decided to take away the land from the people who did not pose any threat to it,” he said at a hearing in the US Senate.

Asked about this, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said that the lands occupied as a result of hostilities are considered to be occupied according to international norms. Pompeo responded by saying that he would not go into detail at the hearings, but offered the senator the services of his subordinates, who, he said, would be ready to discuss this part of international law.

“The second point is a question of practical politics. If this is not the case, you don’t have to pay for aggression, that if you attack and lose part of your land as a result of attacking and getting it back, simply because you didn’t succeed in this, this is a very bad system,” added Pompeo.

To this, Durbin remarked that, according to this logic, the United States could claim the territory of Iraq.

“We can cite dozens and dozens of examples, but you just asked me to compare the situations of the Golan and the Crimea,” Pompeo responded.

US President Donald Trump earlier signed a declaration recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel beat off Syria and occupied the Golan Heights, and in 1981 unilaterally annexed them. Belonging to the mountain plateau is considered the main subject of the Israeli-Syrian conflict, attempts to solve which were undertaken before the beginning of the civil war in Syria.

Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum held there in March 2014, in which 96.77% of voters in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% of the residents of Sevastopol were in favor of joining Russia. The Crimean authorities held a referendum after the coup in Ukraine in February 2014. Ukraine still considers Crimea its, but temporarily occupied territory.

The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that the inhabitants of Crimea in a democratic way, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter, voted for reunification with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the issue of Crimea is “completely closed”.

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