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U.N. FORCE TO REMAIN IN GOLAN AREA

The Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to keep U.N. military observers on the Golan Heights for six more months and warned that the situation remains potentially dangerous as long as there is no comprehensive Mideast peace.

The U.N. Disengagement Force, which will remain in the area at least until May 31, was sent to the heights separating Syria and Israel at the end of the 1973 Mideast war.

That sector has remained relatively peaceful since then, although Syria and Israel have not signed a peace agreement.

U.S. congressional critics have called for the mission to be closed because of relative calm in the Golan area. But in a report earlier this month, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the observer force should remain.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador Peter Burleigh, the current council president, said the secretary-general's statement "reflects the view of the Security Council."

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