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At UN in 1st Horizon Briefing by Feltman of SC, Russia Asks Why Not Bahrain?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, August 7, updated -- In the run up to Tuesday's so-called "horizon scanning briefing" of the Security Council, the first by new Department of Political Affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman, the agenda items were only Somalia and the former Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

Then two other items came up, Inner City Press has learned. The first was without controversy, an information point about the attacks in the Sinai.

But, sources tell Inner City Press, Russia asked why Bahrain wasn't on the agenda, and asked how Feltman would choose agenda items in the future.

Feltman replied that he would follow the standard practices, according to sources. But these are described as murky: the Secretariat proposes topics to the Council's monthly presidency, which circulate to other members. If "one or two" object, items are stricken.

While Western members like France, the UK and Germany have been very upbeat about Tuesday DPA horizon session, others point out that "it is the US which killed the briefings," or at least broke the monthly streak.

Now with Russia's question, what comes next? Watch this site.

Updated: When the meeting broke up, after publication of the above, Inner City Press asked UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant about Russia's intervention. He indicated he wasn't sure why Bahrain had not been put on the list, telling Inner City Press "we wouldn't have blocked it."

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