Home || Permalink
Press Release

Department of Public Information l News Coverage Service l New York

8 June 1984
8 June l984

(Received from the Spokesman for the Secretary-General.)

DAMASCUS, 8 June -- The Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, on the second day of his visit to Syria, today inspected the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) under the guidance of its Commander, Majar-General Carl-Gustaf Stahl.

The Secretary-General left Damascus early in the morning for one of the positions occupied by the Finnish contingent of the Force, where he received a briefing about the activities of the contingent, which totals 383 men.

The Secretary-General then toured the ruined town of Old Quneitra before visiting an observer post manned by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO) observers, where he was again briefed about the work of the observers, who number 74 and who are in charge of maintaining the cease-fire and observing the areas of operation and of limitation of arms.

The Secretary-General then drove to Camp Faouar, headquarters of the Austrian contingent and of the Polish logistical contingent. Upon arrival, the Secretary-General inspected a guard of honour made up of men from the four contingents that participate in UNDOF - the Finnish and Austrian contingents, which are active in the disengagement area and in the arms limitation zone, and the Canadian and Polish logistical contingents.

The Secretary-General then visited the Memorial Hall of the Polish logistical contingent, which is devoted to memorabilia of the Polish contingent in the Middle East and a history of Polish forces since the Second World War.

Later, at the headquarters of the Austrian contingent, the Secretary-General was briefed about that contingent's activities. Major-General Stahl also explained the philosophy of the United Nations forces in the Golan, which he said was based on three criteria: "reliability, credibility and confidence-building", stressing that the Force is not meant to fight either of the armies it separates, but on the contrary to ensure tranquillity in the area so that negotiations could proceed for a political solution.

The Secretary-General then met with men and civilians working for the Force, before being guest for a luncheon at the officers' mess of the Austrian contingent. This luncheon was attended by the Commanders of the contingents which make up UNDOF, and by representatives of the men and civilians working for UNDOF as well as of the United Nations agencies in Damascus.

Later in the afternoon, the Secretary-General returned to Damascus, where he met for 45 minutes with Vice-President Abd al-Halim Khaddam, for talks focusing solely on the Middle East problem. Ways of unfreezing the present diplomatic situation were discussed, as well as Syria's position towards the Lebanese situation.

This evening, the Secretary-General will be guest at a dinner given in his honour by Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharea.

Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will fly by helicopter to Beirut for the third stop of his Middle East visit, which will also take him to Jordan and Israel.
* *** *
For information media - not an official record