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At UN on Syria, Some Europeans Disagree on ICC, on Ban's Assad Readout

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- The day after the US and four European nations announced they'll put forward a resolution on Syria, the question persisted of whether a referral to the International Criminal Court will be included. France has said the ICC referral should be made.

  When Inner City Press asked Germany's Deputy Permanent Representative Miguel Berger about the resolution, he said the four European and the US are already at work.

 Inner City Press asked if an ICC referral would be included in the draft. Berger said that is being discussed, along with eying the upcoming Human Rights Council session on August 22.

  Berger added that given events on the ground, it would be "very difficult for Russia" to oppose a resolution on Syria.

  Inner City Press asked a representative of India, which holds the presidency of the Council for August, about a possible ICC referral. The response was negative, including because "there is no escape clause" - because even Article 16 deferral has yet to be used.

  A European representative, from a country not currently on the Security Council, also expressed to Inner City Press skepticism about an ICC referral.

   But the problems may run deeper. A representative of a veto-wielding Council member said that even a sanctions resolution would be problematic. "We just passed the PRST," the representative said, referring to the Presidential Statement adopted August 3. "The Council can't just keep making demands."

EU4 on Syria, plus DiCarlo of US, ICC in reso not shown

  Meanwhile Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's acting deputy spokesman Farhan about Ban's read out of his call with Bashar al Assad, which recited that Assad said military and political operations had stopped -- did Ban think that was true?

  The Secretary General thinks it should be investigated, Haq said for the second time. Does he not have a television?

  Inner City Press asked if what Ban's Department of Political Affairs (DPA) chief Lynn Pascoe told the Council -- that Assad "implied" operations were over -- was different from Ban's read out. Haq said that Pascoe and DPA were responsible for the read out.

  Other Ban Administration sources say they disagreed with the inclusion in Ban's read out of what Assad said. But they were apparently overruled. Watch this site.

* * *

As Syria Claims Military Operations Are Over, UK Shifts Read Out of UN's Assad Call, Won't Dictate to Ban on Microphone

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 18 -- After the UN Security Council's session on Syria, UK Deputy Permanent Representative Philip Parham confirmed that a draft resolution is in the works, as Inner City Press reported half way through the meeting. Parham would not say if a referral to the International Criminal Court would be included.

  French Deputy Permanent Representative Briens called it a "resolution de sanctions," not mentioning the ICC. The German and Portuguese DRPs, both speaking in English, added their two centimes d'Euros. Then, unlike after the last Council session on Syria, the US joined in with the EU4, as DPR Rosemary DiCarlo cited the statements of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

  Inner City Press asked the group what they thought of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's telephone call with Bashar al Assad, which recited that "President Assad said that the military and police operations had stopped," and if Ban should name an envoy.

  Parham said he wouldn't "dictate to [Ban] from the microphone" -- and so, a secret demarche meeting? -- that Ban's political chief Lynn Pascoe, in closed consultation, had said "President Assad implied that these things had stopped. But, in answer to your second question, no we don’t think they have stopped."

  Minutes later, Inner City Press asked Syrian Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari about the call, and the quote. He said, "it's a fact of the ground," the operations have ceased. The TV at the stakeout was not on, but a perusal of BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera would show different. Ja'afari answered a question in Arabic and referred, seemingly in scorn, to YouTube.

DiCarlo and Hardeep Singh Puri on August 10

  Inner City Press also asked Ja'afari if the UN humanitarian mission which OCHA chief Valerie Amos said would be there "this weekend" could go all over the country. Ja'afari said they will be in Damascus on Saturday, but did not answer on access.

  Ja'afari claimed that High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had not recommended ICC referral, only said to the Council, you "may" do it. Pillay spoke at the stakeout, but took only two questions, walking away as the Press asked, Can you describe where you got this information?

Footnote: Pillay said nothing about her Southern Kordofan report, which airbrushed out inaction by Egyptian UN peacekeepers. Will she answer the question around Friday's Council session on Sudan and Libya? We'll see.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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