Philippines to stay in Golan if security is boosted
Manila: The Philippines said on Friday it would keep its 340 peacekeepers in the Golan Heights provided it gets requested additional heavier weapons and protection.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino would reject a proposal to pull the Filipinos out if the United Nations met his requests to boost security, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.
"Subject to meeting considerations which the Philippines has made to enhance the security and safety of our peacekeepers, the president has expressed the Philippines is prepared to continue its UNDOF participation," he said.
Aquino said last month the Philippine troops needed anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and protection against chemical warfare.
Escalating violence against the UN Disengagement Observer Force, which monitors a 1974 truce between Israel and Syria, has seen other countries pull out their troops.
Austria, previously the top contributor, will withdraw its 377 soldiers by the end of this month, leaving a force of 530 from the Philippines and India.
The brief abductions of 25 Filipino peacekeepers by Syrian rebels this year, as well as the wounding of a soldier at a UNDOF outpost, prompted del Rosario to recommend to Aquino that all the country`s troops be withdrawn.
Del Rosario said today that Aquino had decided the Philippine contingent would definitely remain until August 11. A presence after that would depend on whether the extra security was provided.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday the UN was "seriously concerned" about its shrinking peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights and was seeking to recruit troops from Europe to fill the gap.
Fiji has agreed to send 500 soldiers.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Indrani 'slow-poisoned' Sheena, wanted to portray Mikhail as 'mentally unstable'?
- 'Mann ki Baat': Will implement 13 new pointers to Land Bill from today itself, says PM Modi
- People have no faith left in Modi government: Sonia Gandhi at Swabhiman rally
- Will not allow any political party to join agitation: Hardik Patel
- Swabhiman rally: About Bihar's development or Narendra Modi?
- Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani Mukerjea's ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, driver taken to Raigad to recreate crime scene
- Satire website publishes article on Osama bin Laden being alive and quotes Edward Snowden
- Indrani's former brother-in-law claims Sheena was Siddharth Das' daughter
- Sheena murder: Suitcase seized from Indrani, Peter's residence meant for disposing Mikhail's body?
- Militants kill two engineers in Pakistan airport attack