The United Nations Security Council on Thursday (24 July) voted to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping force in Sinai for three months.
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday (24 July) voted to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping force in Sinai for three months. The mandate will run out on October 24.
China and Iraq disassociated themselves from the resolution which was approved by the 13 other members of the council. The vote came just six hours before the old mandate was due to have run out.
The Council meeting was held up over wording of the resolution. It was finally passed, but not without the Council expressing concern at the continued state of tension in the area and the lack of progress towards the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
SYNOPSIS: The acting President of the United Nations Security Council, the Italian Ambassador, Eugenio Plaja, putting the vital Sinai mandate question to the body in French on Thursday.
The Council was meeting to vote on, extending the mandate for U.N. Security Forces in the Sinai for another three months. By the time the fifteen members sat down there were only hours until the mandate ran out: There had been urgent behind-the-scenes discussions over the wording of the proposal and the first scheduled meeting had to be postponed.
Referring to Egypt's decision to renew the mandate...an eleventh hour decision....Mr. Plaja said it was a positive response and he extended his thanks. Egypt had objected to the wording of the proposal. Instead of the U.N. expressing "satisfaction" at the Egyptian decision, it wanted the word "appreciation" substituted.
Finally the Council reached agreement on the wording and Mr. Plaja called for a vote.
The proposal was approved by thirteen votes to nil with China and Iraq disassociating. Sources at the United Nations said Britain and the United States were unwilling to go beyond an expression of satisfaction at Egypt's decision to renew the mandate.
After the vote Secretary General Kurt Waldheim...who was prepared to fly to Cairo at the end of the debate....expressed his satisfaction at the result....and predicted it would bring further steps towards peace in the Middle East.