Swedish soldier may take part in the UN peacekeeping force on the border between Syria and Israel. Photo: Menahem Kahana, Scanpix

Bildt ponders Swedish troops to Golan Heights

The United Nations has asked Sweden to send peacekeeping troops to the Golan Heights, a flashpoint in the ongoing civil war in Syria.

"We are looking at this," says Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is negotiating with Sweden regarding the establishment of a Scandinavian force to replace Austrian troops who have pulled out of the peacekeeping force stationed on the Syrian border, the English edition of Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Ban Ki-moon also called on Wednesday for expanding the United Nations Observer Force on the Golan Heights and upgrading its capabilities, said news agency TT.

Mr Ban and the former UN secretary, Lakhdar Brahimi, has been in contact with Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who tells Swedish Radio News that no dceision has been taken.

"We're not there yet. Now we are looking at this and consulting."

"We have a policy of when we get serious questions we will give serious answers, and then we will also consult with other countries," says Bildt to Swedish Radio.

He makes it clear that the security situation has deteriorated in the area.

"It is clear that the danger is quite significant."

UN troops have been stationed on the Golan Heights since 1974, when a truce was declared between Israel and Syria.

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