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Australia assist UN Middle East Force



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15 February 1974

AUSTRALIA ASSISTS U,K, MIDDLE EAST FORCE

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Don Willesee,

announced today that the Australian Government had chartered a

Boeing 707 Aircraft from Qantas to airlift a contingent of 570

Nepalese Troops to the Middle East where they would participate

in the United Nations Emergency Force.

Senator Willesee said that the Qantas aircraft would fly

the troops from Calcutta to Cairo in four separate airlifts

beginning on Sunday, 17 February.

, . Nepal had agreed in December 1973 to a request by the

Secretary-General of the United Nations to provide a contingent of

troops for the UN Emergency Force, which had been established by

resolution of the Security Council in October 1973 and which was

being interposed as a buffer force between Egyptian and Israeli

forces in Sinai. '

Australia had agreed to a request from the UN

Secretary-General to ferry the Nepalese contingent to Egypt.

Senator Willesee said that the Indian Government was

providing staging facilities for the Nepalese troops who had

assembled in Calcutta after flying from Nepal by Royal Nepal

Airlines. . -

, . There was a serious fuel shortage in India, but the 1

Indian Government had authorised the provision of more than 200,000

gallons of aviation fuel for the flights. . .

The Australian Government warmly welcomed the close

cooperation with India, Nepal and the United Nations in mounting .

this operation.

The cost of the charter was being met fully by the

Australian Government and would not be charged to the United Nations.

Australia, along with other UN members, was also contributing

financially to the cost Of UNEF and had made an advance contribution

of $US 200,000 to the'initial costs of establishing the operation.

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"These actions are tangible evidence of the Australian

Government's support for the peacekeeping role of the United Nations

in general and of the Middle East operation in particular"»

Senator Willesee added, ..