UNITED NATIONS (Jun. 28)
The mandate of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Sinai, serving as a buffer between Israeli and Egyptian forces, will not be renewed as a result of Soviet opposition, diplomatic sources at the United Nations told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The mandate of the seven-nation force expires July 24.
According to the sources, the Soviets made it clear to the Americans and other members of the Security Council that they will oppose the new deployment of UNEF troops as called for by the peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel with the aid of the United States. According to the agreement, the UN peace force would continue to serve as a buffer but over a much larger area as Israel withdraws its troops from the Sinai over the next three years.
“If the UNEF mandate comes up for renewal by the Security Council, the Soviets are certain to use their veto power,” the sources said. According to the sources, two alternatives to replace UNEF are presently being discussed. One calls for the establishment of a new multinational force, as promised by the U.S. when the peace agreement was conduced in the event that UNEF is vetoed by the Russians. The other would keep the UN observers force in Sinai as a replacement for UNEF. That alternative is expected to be rejected by Egypt which opposes the Soviet observers on the force.