President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, for a trip to visit a Army tank plant in Lima, Ohio, and a fundraising event in Canton, Ohio. Image Credit: AP

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the United States should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an area seized from Syria and annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.

"After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Trump said in a tweet.

Trump called the territory "of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!"

The recognition of the disputed area would mark a major shift in US policy a week before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Washington to meet with Trump and address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Israel captured much of the Golan from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it, a move not endorsed internationally.