Pakistan Cyber Force: Putin: Russia to Replace Austrian Peace Keepers in Golan Heights

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Putin: Russia to Replace Austrian Peace Keepers in Golan Heights

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Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia is ready to send peacekeepers to the Golan Heights to replace Austrian forces after Vienna said it would recall its troops from a UN monitoring force due to worsening fighting in Syria.

"We could replace the leaving Austrian contingent in this region on the border between Israhelli troops and the Syrian army," Putin told the RIA Novosti news agency.

UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Hak told RIA Novosti on Friday that the UN would welcome Russia's contribution to the peacekeeping efforts.

Following the battles at Quneitra in Syria early on Thursday morning, Austria announced it was withdrawing its troops that serve in the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan.

On Thursday, Israhell demanded that the United Nations replace the Austrian soldiers as soon as possible.

Austrians account for some 380 of the 1,100-strong UN force monitoring a ceasefire between Syria and Israhell and their departure will deal a serious blow to the mission. Israhelli ambassador in Vienna Aviv Shir-On was told by the Austrian Foreign Ministry Thursday about the decision to pull out the UNDOF troops.

Shortly afterward the ministry's director general briefed his Israhelli counterpart. In response, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said in a statement that Israhell "expects the United Nations to uphold its commitment under Security Council Resolution 350 (1974), in virtue of which UNDOF has been established."

In the statement Palmor emphasized that, while Israhell appreciates, "Austria's longtime contribution and commitment to peacekeeping in the Middle East, we nevertheless regret this decision and hope that it will not be conducive to further escalation in the region."
 (Haaretz)
(Edited by Pakistan Cyber Force Web Desk)
Pakistan Cyber Force

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