Norway FM demands UN hostages released / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Norway FM demands UN hostages released. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide insists rebels holding the UN personnel captive free them. “I react strongly to the Syrian rebels having taken UN observers hostage in the Golan Heights. They should be released immediately,” he says in a statement, Thursday. The armed group seized the 20 peacekeepers on the border between Syria and Israel yesterday.

norwayforeignminister, unhostagessyria



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Norway FM demands UN hostages released

Published on Thursday, 7th March, 2013 at 16:39 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide insists rebels holding the UN personnel captive free them.



“I react strongly to the Syrian rebels having taken UN observers hostage in the Golan Heights. They should be released immediately,” he says in a statement, Thursday.

The armed group seized the 20 peacekeepers on the border between Syria and Israel yesterday.

The Austrian, Croatian, Indian, and Philippine hostages belong to the UN Disengagement Force (UNDOF), established in 1974 by the UN Security Council to monitor the tense Israel-Syria situation.

UN deputy spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told Al Jazeera the UN observers were stopped in the vicinity of an observation post whilst on a regular supply mission. The facility had sustained damage and was evacuated following heavy fighting last weekend.

“Norway is concerned about the safety of UN observers currently taken hostage. It is totally unacceptable that personnel sent with a mandate from the UN Security Council to ensure peace and security in the region are victims of conflict in Syria,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Barth Eide declares.

“The hostages must be released now. Dragging this out will contribute to damaging the Syrian opposition in the international community's eyes. The incident is unlikely to make it easier to achieve consensus in the UN Security Council,” adds the Foreign Minister.

Syrian rebel group the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade, that first claimed their operation was abduction, now say they have called for the UN to come and pick the personnel up, however. The rebels allege they in fact rescued them from fighting in the area.

“With God’s help we managed to secure a group of U.N. members working in the border town of Jamleh after they were victims of the criminal shelling of Assad’s gangs. We request from the United Nations to send us a security convoy so that we can deliver them to the organization,” the statement reads.



Published on Thursday, 7th March, 2013 at 16:39 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: norwayforeignminister, unhostagessyria.





  
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