A hundred members of the United Nations force on Cyprus left for Egypt on Friday (26th October) to enforce the Middle East ceasefire.
A hundred members of the United Nations force on Cyprus left for Egypt on Friday (26th October) to enforce the Middle East ceasefire. The troops - from Austrian, Finnish and Swedish contingents in Cyprus, arrived in Cairo amid some confusion about where they would operate. The force commanders were faced with two alternatives - to insert the troops between the Israelis and Egyptians south of the Great Bitter Lake, or to try to enforce the ceasefire lines set out in the U.N's second announcement.
Eventually the force will contain 600 men from the contingents on Cyprus. Most had already served their normal six month tour of duty on the island, and were due to go home shortly. The U.N. forces, made up of troops from seven countries, have been on Cyprus since 1964.
As the troops headed for the British Air Force Station at Akrotiri in South Cyprus, the U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim announced that he intended to send a force of perhaps 7,000 men to keep the peace in the Middle East. They would be drawn from 10 to 15 countries, and for the first the would include men from a member of the Soviet bloc - Rumania. In accordance with the Security Council's resolution, the force will not include troops from the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain or France. But Soviet and American representatives will go to the Middle East to observe the truce.