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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

U.N. to extend peacekeeping mission

February 15, 2007

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— The Security Council will extend the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti for eight months following an agreement between the United States and China on the length of the new mandate, diplomats said Wednesday.

The council is expected to formally vote today to lengthen the mandate for the 8,800-strong force.

In a report in December, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended the mission be extended for one year after its mandate expires today, a view backed by the Friends of Haiti whose members include the United States, Canada, Brazil, France and Britain.

But China, which has no diplomatic relations with Haiti, pushed for a six month mandate.

Diplomats in Haiti have said China pushed for the shorter mandate because of Haiti's support for Taiwan's bid to join the United Nations. Haiti is one of a handful of countries that has diplomatic ties with Taiwan. China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949, but Beijing still claims sovereignty over the island.

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