Russian peacekeepers in Golan Heights may prevent a Syrian-Israeli war

An input of Russian peacekeepers in the Golan Heights operation would be useful for both Syria and Israel, military expert, member of the Federation Council International Affairs Committee Igor Morozov said.

An input of Russian peacekeepers in the Golan Heights operation would be useful for both Syria and Israel, military expert, member of the Federation Council International Affairs Committee Igor Morozov said.

"The deployment of our peacekeepers in the Golan Heights as a substitute for the Austrian contingent would agree with Syria and Israel, bearing in mind Russia's direct contacts with the Israeli administration. At the same time, our country's standpoint on Syria, which implies that the internal conflict can be resolved only by the people of Syria, without interference of third countries, gains support in Syria," Morozov told Interfax on Sunday.

In his words, Russia has a potential for participating in the settlement of Middle East problems.

"We have long-standing relations with Arab countries and we are also developing full-scale relations with Israel, which, doubtlessly, is our advantage and the chief factor that makes us a real candidate for engagement in the peacekeeping operation in the Golan Heights," Morozov said.

Besides, the UN has acclaimed peacekeeping proficiency of Russian servicemen.

UN peacekeeping operations aim to prevent or liquidate threats to peace and security, Morozov said.

"Joint measures of compulsion are taken in the case economic or political measures prove insufficient or inefficient. The UN Security Council makes decisions with regard to the formation, composition, use and financing of peacekeeping forces," he said. "Russia's participation in the peacekeeping operation in the Golan Heights will have strategic significance because it will strengthen Russian position in the Middle East and bolster its international authority."

Likewise, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov argues that the Russian proposal to send peacekeepers to the Golan Heights has potential and may help prevent a war between Syria and Israel.

"If UN peacekeepers leave that area, I do not rule out it may come to a war between Syria and Israel," Pushkov told a press conference on Monday. "I believe the Russian offer gives additional guarantees against a Syrian-Israeli war."

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed on Friday to send Russian peacekeepers to the Golan Heights as a substitute for the Austrian contingent if the UN accepted the offer and regional countries showed an interest in that deployment.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the mandate of the peacekeepers separating Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights did not allow Russia to send its peacekeepers to the region.

Pushkov noted the agreement was signed about 40 years ago and things changed.

"Therefore, we propose to review and update the agreement," the State Duma committee chairman said. "It would be premature to say the Russian proposal has no prospects. It may still be reconsidered."

The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was deployed in the Golan Heights in 1974 to supervise the ceasefire between Syria and Israel.

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