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UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - The U.N. Security Council will vote on a draft resolution, which envisages extending the stay of peacekeepers on the Golan Heights and strengthening of their security, Russian permanent representative to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin told journalists.
The text of the draft resolution, which was prepared by Russia and the United States, “has been practically coordinated and corresponds to Moscow’s expectations”. “The draft resolution contains serious political signals related to the stay of armed opposition groups on the Golan Heights’ buffer zone. “We’re pleased with the text,” Churkin told Itar-Tass.
The document envisages extending the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the buffer zone between Israel and Syria for six months. The previous mandate expires on June 30.
Churkin said the text of the resolution responded to the recommendations by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the strengthening of security of peacekeepers whose responsibility area had turned into a battleground between the Syrian army and rebels. “The document will contain what is political possible,” the Russian permanent representative explained.
The U.N. Secretariat is planning to increase the number of peacekeepers from 923 people to 1,250 servicemen, to strengthen observation positions in the buffer zone and give the UNDOF contingent weapons, armour and other equipment. According to diplomats, the changes of the mandate are not indispensable like as the consent from Syria and Israel.
Meanwhile, the problem to increase peacekeepers on the Golan Heights has not been solved yet. The U.N. Secretariat continues to replace Austria peacekeepers, who will be withdrawn till the end of July. At the moment about 900 peacekeepers will be stationed on the Golan Heights.