THE Government of Israel has commended Fijian troops in the Golan Heights on the border of Israel and Syria.
Israel's non resident Ambassador Yuval Rotem who met Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama on Wednesday said the Israel Government was grateful and appreciative of Fiji's involvement in peacekeeping duties to bring stability in the Middle East.
Mr Rotem, who is based in Canberra, said because of Fiji's commitment to peacekeeping duties in volatile areas, it was a "natural occurrence" to see members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces along their (Israel's) border line.
"We have enormous admiration and respect for Fiji for the understanding and its co-operation in peacekeeping missions in the Middle East," he said.
"This is not the first time Fiji has come to the region and they have demonstrated a very high level of professionalism to approaching issues and we (Israel) are happy to see Fiji along our borders, especially in Sinai, Lebanon and now in Golan."
RFMF Land Force Commander Lieutenant Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga acknowledged the accolades from the Israeli Government saying it would help the Fijian troops carry out their tasks.
However, he said the RFMF maintained its neutrality in the mission areas although it appreciated the comments by Israel.
Lt-Col Tikoitoga said the Fijian troops did not work for the Israelis.
"It (RFMF troops) works for the UN to ensure the border between Israel and Egypt and the mandate between Israel and Syria is maintained," he said.
And with 501 soldiers serving in the Golan Heights, Lt-Col Tikoitoga said they were not looking at sending more soldiers to the Golan Heights unless requested by the UN and approved by the government.
Also eight Fijian nurses selected by the Health Ministry are working in various hospitals in Syria while the next batch of eight nurses will leave in September.