Syria has asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the decision of the United States to recognise the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday in which the US recognised Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau, despite UN resolutions that call for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan.

The Syrian mission to the UN has asked the council presidency, held by France, to schedule an urgent meeting to "discuss the situation in the occupied Syrian Golan and the recent flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council's resolution by a permanent member-state".

The French presidency did not immediately schedule the meeting and diplomats said there would be a discussion at the council about the request.

The council is scheduled to discuss the latest crisis during a meeting today on renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force deployed between Israel and Syria in the Golan, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, known as UNDOF.

There are 130 members of the Irish Defence Forces currently deployed as part of UNDOF.

They are primarily tasked as the Force Mobile Reserve to undertake reinforcement, reaction, escort and other operations throughout UNDOF's Area of Responsibility.

Members of the Defence Forces have been training in Wicklow for their deployment

On Friday, Syria wrote a separate letter urging the council to uphold resolutions demanding that Israel withdraw from the Golan.

Five European countries with seats on the council earlier rejected Mr Trump's decision and voiced concern that the US move would have broad consequences in the Middle East.

Two of Washington's closest allies - Britain and France - joined Belgium, Germany and Poland to declare that the European position had not changed and that the Golan remained Israeli-occupied Syrian territory, in line with international law enshrined in UN resolutions.

Three UN Security Council resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the Golan, which it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, in a move that was never recognised internationally.


What is the significance of the Golan Heights?


US Acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told a council meeting on the Middle East that Washington had made the decision to stand up to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran.

"To allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Assad regime and malign and destabilising presence of Iran in the region," Mr Cohen said.

There "can be no peace agreement that does not satisfactorily address Israel's security needs in the Golan Heights," he added.

China and Russia spoke out against the US decision during the council meeting, as did Indonesia and South Africa, two countries that strongly support the Palestinians, along with Kuwait, a US ally in the region.