Security Council Extends Mandate of UN Force
    2010-12-23 04:00:10     Xinhua      Web Editor: Luo
 

The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), maintaining the force's presence in the buffer zone between the Israeli- controlled Golan Heights and Syria.

The 15-member Council renewed the mandate for the 1,042 strong force for six months -- until June 30, 2011.

The UN Disengagement Observer Force was established by the UN Security Council in May 1974, following the agreed ceasefire and disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces from the Golan Heights.

The UNDOF is the only military presence that remains in the zone that separates the Golan Heights and Syria to ensure the maintenance of the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire following the 1973 war.

Despite calm along the Israeli-Syrian buffer zone, the situation in the Middle East remains tense as the Palestinian- Israeli peace process has stalled, noted a December report by UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

Ban said in his report that the situation has remained "generally quiet" in the Israel-Syria sector in recent months.

"Nevertheless, 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. I hope that determined efforts will be made by all concerned to tackle the problem in all its aspects, with a view to arriving at a just and durable peace settlement," he stated.

Amid current tensions in the region, Ban referred to the continued presence of UNDOF in the area as "essential."

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