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UN observer force in Golan Heights to continue for further six months

The Security Council today extended for another six months the United Nations force observing the more than three-decade-old ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council decided to renew the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) until 31 December 2008, as recommended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In his latest report on the Force’s activities, Mr. Ban noted that the situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained generally quiet. At the same time, “the situation in the Middle East is tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached,” he stated. “That statement of the Secretary-General reflects the view of the Security Council,” the 15-member body said in a statement read out after the adoption of the resolution by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad of the United States, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for this month.Mr. Ban added that he considered UNDOF’s continued presence “essential,” given the ongoing tension in the region. The Force was established in May 1974 to supervise the disengagement accord between Syrian and Israeli forces after their 1973 war. 27 June 2008The Security Council today extended for another six months the United Nations force observing the more than three-decade-old ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights. read more