NEWS

Naupoto: Golan Force Will Continue To Serve Under UN Resolution

US President Donald Trump after 52 years changed US Foreign policy stance and has called on the full recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,
24 Mar 2019 00:04
Naupoto: Golan Force Will Continue To Serve Under UN Resolution
Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander, Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto.

Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto reiterated that Fijian soldiers serving in the Golan Heights would continue to work under the mandate of the United Nations resolution.

His comment came after the President of the United States, Donald Trump, overturned decades of US foreign policy stance.

In a tweet Mr Trump said that after 52 years it was time for the United States to fully recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability!

Naturally, America’s new position was well received by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

He replied on Twitter that Mr Trump did something of equal historic importance: He recognised Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Fiji has 242 soldiers serving under the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan.

Rear-Admiral Naupoto restated: “As long as the UN mandate exists, it is business as usual for us working under that mandate.”

UNDOF was established by the Security Council resolution in 1974 to:
– Maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria;
– Supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces; and
– Supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as provided in the May 1974 Agreement on Disengagement.

Some international commentators are predicting that this could be the next Middle East flashpoint.

According to the UNDOF missions website, the UN Secretary-General has repeatedly observed that despite the present quietness in the Israeli-Syrian sector, the situation in the Middle East was very tense and was likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem was reached. In the prevailing circumstances, he considered the continued presence of UNDOF in the area to be essential.

The Golan Heights was part of Syria until 1967, when Israel captured the territory in the Six-Day War. Israel has since occupied the territory. Syria, on the other hand, insists that any peace agreement with Israel must include the return of the Golan Heights.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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