Security Council extends mandate of UN force in Golan Heights
The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to extend the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), a peacekeeping operation in the Golan Heights, for another six months, Xinhua reported.
In the newly adopted resolution, the 15-nation Council agreed to renew the mandate of UNDOF, set up in May 1974 following the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces after the 1973 war, through Dec. 31.
The vote followed a recent report to the Council by UN chief Ban Ki-moon, in which he said the situation in the Middle East is tense and likely to remain so, until a comprehensive settlement covering the region's problems can be reached.
Claude Heller, Mexican UN ambassador who holds the rotating Council presidency for June, read out a statement to the press on behalf of the 15-member panel in which he said the Council backed the position of the secretary-general.
In his report to the Security Council, Ban urged Israel and Syria to resume peace negotiations as soon as possible. An earlier set of indirect talks that were initiated by Turkey were suspended in 2008.
As of last month, UNDOF was comprised of 1,043 troops from six countries and the operation is led by Major General Natalio Ecarma III of the Philippines.