Quantcast
Latest Stories

PH Golan peacekeepers to stay for now


Alberto del Rosario

Foreign Affairs secretary Alberto del Rosario. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines Wednesday said it would keep its peacekeepers in the Golan Heights until at least August, and may stay longer if the United Nations increased security there.

The announcement by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario followed repeated government warnings in recent weeks that it was considering swiftly pulling out its 341 soldiers from the volatile area between Syria and Israel.

“We’re committed to staying at least until August 3,” del Rosario told a news conference in Manila.

Syrian rebels kidnapped 25 Filipino peacekeepers in two separate incidents in the Golan Heights this year.

They were released unharmed but the abductions, as well as the wounding of a Filipino soldier at an outpost of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), heightened concerns about the contingent’s safety.

UN peacekeepers have been monitoring a ceasefire between Syria and Israel in the Golan since 1974, but violence has escalated as the Syrian civil war spills over into the area.

Austria began pulling out its 370 peacekeepers last week because of the security concerns, leaving the Golan force with just the 341 troops from the Philippines and 193 from India.

However, diplomats said on Tuesday that Fiji had offered 500 troops.

Del Rosario said the UN and the United States had been trying to dissuade the Philippines from pulling out.

He said the Philippines could give no assurance unless recommendations it had given to the UN to enhance the peacekeepers’ safety were put in place.

President Benigno Aquino said last week the force needed more equipment and revised “standard operating procedures” to improve the troops’ security.

British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, the UN Security Council president for June, said on Tuesday that UNDOF would get “some heavier weapons,” extra body armor and see observation posts reinforced.

Del Rosario did not comment directly when asked if the new measures announced by Lyall Grant met the Philippines’ requirements.

He said a Philippine assessment team was in the Golan Heights to help Aquino decide on the security situation and what action to take after August 3.

“If there is no appreciable increase in the risk exposure by that time, then we may even consider adding to our contingent,” del Rosario said, while emphasising the Philippines was conscious of the need to have an adequately staffed force.

“We want a normal number there for the protection of everyone.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Global Nation , Golan Heights , Philippines , Syria , United Nations



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
Advertisement

News

  • Drunk passenger triggers Bali hijack alert
  • Businesswoman allegedly killed by husband, brother-in-law
  • Roxas suspended from golf club for outburst over P5,000 guest fee
  • SC reschedules oath-taking of new lawyers
  • Ex-COA chief seeks bail after arrest for plunder
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • BDO nets P5.5 B in Q1
  • Pacquiao may be 2013 top taxpayer
  • Emperador nets P1.7 B in Q1
  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Marketplace