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UN Security Council Votes 13-0 to Extend Unifil Mandate for 3 Months

The Security Council today voted 13-0 to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for three months. The Soviet Union and Poland abstained as they usually do on issues involving UN forces.

The extension of the mandate for three months was requested by the Lebanese government. The resolution adopted today calls for continuation of the 1978 mandate calling for all parties concerned to cooperate with the 6,000 troop force for the full implementation of its tasks, including the restoration of the authority of the Lebanese government in south Lebanon.

Israel has maintained that UNIFIL has outlived its usefulness since its invasion of Lebanon in June, 1982. The Dutch government has announced that it will withdraw its battalion assigned to UNIFIL on October 19, after the three month extension expires. The Dutch apparently feel that the current mandate no longer serves any useful purpose but have indicated that if the mandate is changed, they will reconsider its position toward UNIFIL.