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Canadian FM Freeland Talks Khashoggi with US Pompeo While UNSG Guterres Does Nothing Bans Press

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 6 – When Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke on the topic of Women, Peace and Security at German House on September 26, she joked that the audience were the wonkishly converted and urged those present to more directly engage with those who think differently. On November 5 she spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, giving rise to this read out attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert: "Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.  The Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed a number of global and bilateral issues.  The Secretary and the Foreign Minister agreed on the importance of ascertaining all of the facts in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and holding all of those involved accountable. They also discussed Iran sanctions, the situation in Nicaragua, and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement." This while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres does nothing on Khashoggi; Guterres had the critical Press roughed up and banned from the UN for 125 days now. Back on September 26 Freeland said the UN General Assembly week so far had featured robust attacks on multilateralism - the reference, it seemed clear, was to Donald Trump - but that countries like Canada and Germany must work together to confront it. She cited the #MeToo movement, but not the UN's dismal response to sexual harassment in its ranks, at UNAIDS and UNFPA. Periscope video here. Also speaking were Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Germany; Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Namibia; Josep Borrell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Spain. A moderator was Karin Landgren whose served among other places in Burundi and who's quoted a colleague, "'Our dissent channel is Inner City Press,' joked a UN colleague, referring to a journalist known for asking difficult questions." With that channel under assault, literally, what will Landgren and these countries do? But that's another story, like this one from earlier on September 26: When Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis help a press availability early on September 26, Inner City Press went to ask him something it first asked the UN, about complaints that despite invitations to Geneva by the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances victims from Biafra and Ambazonia in Cameroon were denied visas by the Swiss embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.

Cassis said he was unaware of the issue but to ask the consul general. He was otherwise responsive, about the political consideration in Switzerland about arms transfers -- the country's former UN Ambasssador Peter Maurer, now heading the ICRC, this week called for review as to Yemen -- and the North Korea process.

 Is Switzerland on the short list to host the second round of talks between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump? Cassis replied he didn't know where on the list the Swiss are but that they play a unique role. He repeated this as to Iran, where Switzerland represents the US' interests. Here were his bilateral meetings:

1045  EU High Representative Federica Mogherini

1100  Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel, Algeria
1230 Foreign Minister Osman Mohammed Saleh, Eritrea

1300 Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal

1330 EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn

1430 Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, Pakistan

1530 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian Federation

1700 Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates

  It's UNGA madness, in four languages. We hope to have more on this.


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