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US ambassador expects Golan Heights to be ‘part of Israel forever’

The US ambassador to Israel said in remarks published on Thursday that he expects Israel to keep the Golan Heights in perpetuity, Reuters reports. Foreign governments, including the US, do not recognize Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the strategic plateau captured from Syria in the 1967 war. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser has said Washington’s policy is unchanged. However, US Ambassador David Friedman suggested Israel is there to stay and said it is possible the US would consider recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights in the future. “I personally cannot imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights will be returned to Syria. I frankly cannot imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is not part of Israel forever,” he told the right-wing Israel Hayom newspaper. Friedman added that there is “no one more undeserving of this prize” – control of the Golan Heights – than Syrian President Bashar Assad.