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Trump to Sign Golan Sovereignty Decree as Netanyahu Visits US

Trump to Sign Golan Sovereignty Decree as Netanyahu Visits US

Monday, 25 March, 2019 - 05:15
FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wave after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Tel Aviv - Nazir Magally

US President Donald Trump is expected on Monday to formally recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights during talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

"Trump will sign tomorrow in the presence of PM Netanyahu an order recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz tweeted Sunday.

Netanyahu, who arrived in Washington on Sunday, is looking for an electoral boost from Trump.

He is locked in a tough election fight with a centrist political alliance headed by former military chief Benny Gantz and ex-finance minister Yair Lapid.

Trump’s recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory would be seen as a campaign gift to the visiting PM ahead of Israel's April 9 polls.

A senior US official said last week that the Trump administration was preparing an official document to codify support for Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau that it seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

Netanyahu has a "working meeting" at the White House on Monday and a dinner on Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, he is set to address the annual conference in Washington of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Other than the campaign boost from Trump, Netanyahu is expected to bring a spy, Jonathan Pollard, back home.

Pollard was recruited by late spy-master Rafi Eitan and provided Israel with valuable information. He was caught and sentenced by the US in 1987 and released in 2015. Pollard is unable to leave NYC until 2020 under the conditions of his parole.

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