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West European Participants Sought for Sinai Force

June 4, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Italy has been asked to participate in the multinational force to police Sinai after Israel’s final withdrawal next April and diplomatic sources here believe there is a good chance it will agree. Israeli sources said there are prospects that a second European country would also agree.

The U.S., Israel and Egypt who are presently negotiating over a mandate for the force are believed anxious to have at least one Western European participant. According to Israeli sources, a second Latin American country — possibly Ecuador — will join. The sources assume that Argentina would agree. But, according to reports from Latin American sources, this does not now seem likely (See separate story.)

Italy is regarded here as a good candidate because its colonial era ended with World War II and it has no colonial heritage in the immediate area. The Italians supply a helicopter-borne logistics unit to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). If it agrees to participate in the Sinai force it is expected to provide the same type of unit there.

Other countries that have been approached informally to contribute to the Sinai force are Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Fiji and Canada.

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