News / Middle East

    UN Renews Mandate of Peacekeepers on Golan Heights

    A wide view of the United Nations Security Council (file photo)
    A wide view of the United Nations Security Council (file photo)
    Larry Freund

    The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution renewing the mandate for U.N. peacekeeping troops on the Golan Heights, between Syria and Israel. 

    After several days of behind the scenes talks, the Security Council scheduled a formal meeting to consider a resolution renewing the mandate for six months of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force, created in 1974 to maintain the ceasefire on the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria.  

    Again, the council retreated behind closed doors for further talks before finally voting publicly and unanimously to extend the mandate for the peacekeepers.

    The delay suggested the disagreement among the council’s five veto-wielding permanent members.  The United States, Britain and France have pressed for additional language in the resolution on the violence within Syria.  Russia and China rejected the idea, calling the situation in Syria an internal matter.  

    Britain’s representative Philip Parham said Syria’s government has met legitimate demands for reform with brute force. “The situation in Syria is not sustainable," he said. "If we genuinely want to see an end to the violence, this council should send a clear message underlining our collective concern.”

    Israeli troops patrol along the border between Israel and Syria near the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, June 6, 2011
    Israeli troops patrol along the border between Israel and Syria near the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, June 6, 2011

    In contrast, Russia’s representative, Alexander Pankin, told the Security Council the resolution it approved simply extended the mandate of the U.N. force.  He suggested that is as far as the council should go.

    “The resolution adopted today, of which Russia was a co-sponsor, is technical in nature and does not have any relation to the developments in the political situation in Syria or Israel," said Pankin. "Syria is not on the agenda of the Security Council because it is not a threat to international peace and security.”

    For his part, Syria’s representative was critical of countries that he said had attempted to force the Security Council into issues that are none of its business.

    Speaking for the United States, ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo was sharply critical of Syria’s government for brutally repressing the Syrian people.

    “The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy," said DiCarlo. "The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protest.  It must release political prisoners and stop unjust arrest and torture.”

    The resolution adopted by the Security Council expresses grave concern at what it calls the “serious events” on May 15 and June 5 that its says put the long-held ceasefire in jeopardy.  Palestinian demonstrators had tried to break through the ceasefire line and were confronted by Israeli troops.

    The resolution calls for the parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora