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Sweden will not send troops to the Golan Heights

Published torsdag 18 juli 2013 kl 17.14
Sweden will not join the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights. Photo: Menahem Kahana/Scanpix.

Sweden has decided not to join the United Nations' peacekeeping force that monitors the Golan Heights, with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs citing security concerns and lack of resources as the main reasons.

"We have informed the UN secretariat that we have declined to participate in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)," the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had, according to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, urged Sweden to send troops to the Golan Heights on the Syria-Israel border.

"The situation is unpredictable and dangerous. In particular, there is a risk that battling forces will want to use the area for their operations," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sara Brandt-Hansen said.

She added that Sweden would also be unable to provide troops with the equipment needed to guarantee staff members' safety.

Several countries, including Finland, have previously either pulled out of or declined to participate in the peacekeeping force.

UNDOF has been present in the Golan Heights since 1974, when Israel and Syria signed a disengagement agreement.

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