UN seeks more time to replace Austrian troops on Golan

June 12, 2013 11:35

VIENNA - The head of UN peacekeeping operations has asked Austria for more time to line up replacements for Austrian troops due to be withdrawn from a Golan Heights buffer zone between Syria and Israel within weeks.

"Austria has to make us a better offer," Herve Ladsous told Austrian paper Die Presse in an interview published on Wednesday. "To be completely honest, we need more time."The first group of 60 to 80 soldiers from the 380 Austrian peacekeepers in the 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) is due to arrive home later on Wednesday.

Austria said last week it would recall its observers after worsening fighting between Syrian rebels and troops in the area. The pullout is slated to take two to four weeks.

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