MANILA, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines on Sunday welcomed the release of 21 Filipino UN peacekeepers seized by Syrian gunmen last week.
"The Philippine Government and its people express deep appreciation to the Jordanian Government and military officials on the successful safe passing over to the Jordanian side of all our 21 Filipino Peacekeepers," a Department of Foreign Affairs statement said.
It also thanked those who have exerted and contributed to the collective efforts to effect the safe release of the Filipinos who are members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force ( UNDOF).
The Philippines stresses the impartiality of UNDOF and its mandate to monitor the Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria as it strongly reiterated its call on all parties to respect the freedom of movement and safety and security of peacekeepers there, the statement said.
"Indeed, this respect of freedom of movement and safety and security of peacekeepers must be extended to all United Nations peacekeeping missions consistent with commitments and obligations under international law," it said.
The Filipinos, who are part of the U.N. mission monitoring the armistice line in Golan Heights between Syria and Israel following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, were seized by Syrian rebels on March 6 in Al-Jamla.
There are 333 Filipino military and police contingent in Golan Heights.