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UN Race Pits Pakistan Versus Kyrgyz, Brotherly Muslims With US in Wings

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 29 -- As relations between Pakistan and the US grow more tense, at the UN Kyrgyzstan is aggressively campaigning for the October 21 election for the Security Council seat most had assumed would be won by Pakistan.

  Source describe to Inner City Press heavy lobbying by the Kyrgyz head of state Rosa Otunbayeva, a former UN staff member, on the margins of the General Debate. But several current members of the Council said that it would and should be Pakistan.

  "With India on," one Deputy Permanent Representative told Inner City Press, "it would send the wrong message to keep Pakistan off."

  On September 29, Inner City Press asked Pakistani Permanent Representative Abdullah Hussain Haroon about the push by Kyrgyzstan.

"It's a brotherly Muslim nation," Haroon replied. "We love them, we respect them. But we feel this is a moment in history when we feel we have to be here" on the Council.

"The good thing," he continued, "is I'll be here everyday, you can ask me things every day, I'll be responsive."

Turning to vote counts, Haroon said, "We have a very large phalanx of commitments, it's way beyond the needed number."

A member state lobbied "hard" by the Kyrgyz told Inner City Press that in light of their run for a Council seat in the next decade, they are trading notes verbales now, commitment for commitment. But it is a secret ballot: will Pakistan's vote count hold up?

India's Hardeep Singh Puri, Ban Ki-moon & Haroon, Kyrgyz & Azeris not shown

Inner City Press said, referring to Pakistan's dispute with the US about the Haqqani network, that the Kyrgyz "saw an opportunity."

"It's not an opportunity," Haroon cut in. "We will resolve whatever we have to resolve. We are here for diplomacy, not confrontation." They he took the stairs from the subterranean world of Security Council up to street level.

The election is set for October 21. Other contested seats including Hungary versus Slovenia or Azerbaijan to replace Bosnia, and to replace Nigeria, Council president for October, Morocco versus Mauritania, which has the African Union endorsement. Click here for more.

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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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