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UN, US warn of 'maximum volatility' in Golan Heights if Philippine peacekeepers withdraw

The Philippines' top diplomat says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have appealed to Manila not to withdraw more than 300 Filipino peacekeepers from the Golan Heights to avoid "maximum volatility" in the restive Middle East region.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Wednesday the diplomats made the appeal to him in separate recent talks.

The Filipino troops will stay in the region up to Aug. 3, when they need to be replaced by a fresh batch. But del Rosario said the Philippines may withdraw from the peacekeeping mission if no additional safeguards will be put in place to ensure the safety of the Filipinos.

Del Rosario recommended the withdrawal of the Filipinos following two separate abductions of Filipino peacekepers in the Golan Heights.