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On Libya, Inner City Press Asks UK of Tripoli Airport Fighting, Concern & Desire for Elections

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video; Photos

UNITED NATIONS, January 17 –  Before the UN Security Council met about Libya on January 17, Inner City Press asked UK Deputy Ambassador and charge d'affaires Jonathan Allen about the recent clash at the Tripoli airport. Video here, from 2:05. From the UK transcript: Inner City Press: On Libya, this fighting at the airport, it set this sort of backup in Tripoli which was also closed by fighting. Is that something parallel to the political process you’re talking about or does it reflect going back in terms of security situation and the functionality of the country? Amb Allen: "It’s deeply concerning. We’ve seen the airport being closed, civilians being caught up in that, a key part of Tripoli’s infrastructure, is clearly is very worrying indeed. Obviously we, like everybody else, condemn that violence, but it just goes to show why it’s so important that we are able to move things forward with a political agreement, an amendment to a political agreement that allows elections and constitutional changes in due course. That’s the only way we are going to be able to get away from this cycle of violence." We'll see. When the UN's Libya envoy Ghassam Salame came to take questions on September 20, Inner City Press went to ask him directly about his quotes on ANSA supporting Italy's cooperation with the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard. After several sycophant questions, Inner City Press asked - and Salame pushed back, claiming he was misquoted by ANSA. Video here. But he went on to say that the deal[s] between Italy and Libyan forces are bilateral, UNese for We will not comment. On September 27, Inner City Press asked Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN Transcript here: Inner City Press:  about Libya, a video has emerged of an NGO [non-governmental organization] ship, the Mission Lifeline, being boarded and fired on by the Libyan Coast Guard as they… after they rescued people seeking to flee.  So, a lot of people are saying it's pretty surprising that the UN hasn't said anything about visual documentation on armed…Spokesman:  "I haven't seen the report.  I will look into it." Six hours later, nothing. Sources tell Inner City Press the very apartment Salame occupies was paid for from the Gulf. We'll have more on that - and on Grandi's and Louise Arbour's high minded answers to Inner City Press earlier in the day, here. Who represents the UN system on this: Arbour (and to a lesser extent Grandi) - or go along to get along Salame? Guterres will one day have to decide.  Two days before on September 18 when Italy's Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano took media questions at the UN on September 18, they were all in Italian except for a final chosen question about Donald Trump. Inner City Press insisted and asked, in English, if Italy funds militia in Libya to detain migrants and refugees. Alfano's answer was in Italian, but a handler from the Italian Mission offered a translation: that Italy has denied it. So what due diligence does Italy do, over the funds it gives to the UN-propped up government in Libya? We'll have more on this. Alamy photos here. When US President Donald Trump gave his UN reform speech on September 18, he noted that UN staff have doubled since 2000, but we haven't seen the results. He could have said more: what HAS been seen includes inaction on mass killings in Sri Lanka and Yemen, Myanmar and Cameroon. Not mentioned in Secretary General Antonio Guterres' speech, nor in his answers the two times Inner City Press has asked him, is the UN bribery guilty verdicts in the case of Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe. The UN was shown, only this summer, to be for sale. And nothing has changed. As UN General Assembly week started up on Sunday, the US announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov at 9 pm, at Russia's Mission to the UN. Inner City Press after asking Cote d'Ivoire president Alassane Ouattara a question about Myanmar - without answer - biked up to that Mission on 67th Street. There in the half light were dozens of reporters and photographers, waiting for Tillerson to leave. In the street were US body guards with machine guns. Tillerson emerged and said nothing, driving away. Video here. Most of the Western wire service correspondents, one a photographer who'd been at the UN photo op with Ouattara but not the stakeout with Ivorian media, turned and left. Then the spokesman for Lavrov, and before him for now deceased Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, emerged and briefed in Russia. Inner City Press was informed second hard that she said the topics had been Syria, Ukraine and Minsk implementation, and “North Africa.” Later the US State Department said, “U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met this evening in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The two recommitted to deconflicting military operations in Syria, reducing the violence, and creating the conditions for the Geneva process to move forward, pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.” So what about North Africa? Peacekeepers in Ukraine? Watch this site.


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