The United States should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Donald Trump when the two men met in Washington on Wednesday.
“His reaction was not earth shattering,” Netanyahu told reporters during a briefing at Blair House after the meeting. He did not elaborate any further about the mountainous area that Israel captured from Syria in the Six-Day war and then annexed in 1981.
The United States and the international community have never recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.
Israel has long argued that it must maintain that territory for security reasons.
The two men also talked about the civil war in Syria in general, with Netanyahu explaining that Israel had no interest in getting involved in the conflict.
“We want to avoid involvement as much as possible,” Netanyahu said.
Still, he said, Israel would obviously act, as it has done in the past, to halt threats to its security particularly from Iran which is smuggling weapons through Syria to Hizbollah in Lebanon. Iran also seeks to establish a base in Syria.
Israel has in the past carried out limited airstrikes in Syria. Netanyahu told the reporters that Israel coordinates any activity it takes in Syria with Russia. The prime minister said that he speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about every two to three weeks.