Security Council to Meet Friday to Extend Undof Mandate if Waldheim’s Trip to Damascus is Successful

If UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s trip to Damascus is successful the Security Council will meet Friday to extend the mandate for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights for another six months.

Waldheim left today for Damascus to seek Syrian consent for the extension of UNDOF. He is expected back in New York on Thursday night. Diplomatic sources here expressed confidence that the Syrians will agree to the extension.

Meanwhile, Waldheim issued here a report expressing a positive view of UNDOF’s activities from Nov. 25, 1975 through yesterday. The report underlined the contributions of UNDOF to the maintenance of the cease-fire between Syria and Israel and cited the cooperation of both countries with UNDOF. According to the report, the composition of 1194 UN troops is as follows: Austria, 515. Canada, 126; Iran, 391; Poland, 84; and UN military observers, 78.

The report states that during this six-month period there were three complaints of small arms fire, two by Syria and one by Israel. “UNDOF confirmed firing activity in two cases. Neither incident could be regarded as serious and no loss of life or injury resulted,” the report states. The report also said that UNDOF has suffered no fatal casualties during the last six months.

The report warns that “there are still many unexploded shells and mines in the area of separation” and noted that Syrian civilians continue to be injured by mines. Two UNDOF personnel also received minor injuries. The report concluded by stating that in view of Waldheim’s visit to Damascus his observations regarding this report will be issued later.

The Security Council was scheduled to meet today on the Israeli administration of the West Bank. But the meeting was postponed because an agreement has not been reached between the Council members on a consensus statement. It is possible it may meet tomorrow.

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