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At UN, Rice on Kofi & Sanctions, Syria Monitors in Hotels, Sudan Deadline

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 16 -- What does Kofi want? That was the question hanging over the UN Security Council meeting on Syria on Monday.

  US Ambassador Rice said it is clear from envoy Kofi Annan's letter on July 13 about the killings at Tremseh that he wants he "wants there to be consequences for non-compliance" with his six point plan. She cited Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's July 13 letter on Tremseh as well.

  But when Inner City Press asked Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin about these letter, he was critical.

Inner City Press: Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan's letters about Tremseh, were they accurate at the time? Should they be updated?

Amb. Churkin: I don't think so. There is new, disturbing information. One reason for the monitoring mission to stay is that we need objective information about events. Of course, their resources are limited, but at least they are on the ground. We believe they can deter some things, and if horrible things do happen, they will be able to tell us what they believe has happened, because this is a situation where various horrors are taking place, unfortunately, and various provocations are happening, various people are interpreting what is happening in the wrong way.

  Rice said it would be "immoral" to keep the monitors in Syria, even in their hotel rooms, if the Security Council is unwilling to back them up with the threat of sanctions.

  Of sanctions, she said the "UK has tables a resolution which we strongly support" which would "make it clear that Geneva outcome now under Chapter Seven."

  Earlier, Churkin had emphasized that the use of Chapter Seven had NOT been agreed at the talks in Geneva.

  But another side, speaking off the record, said that nine of the 11 at Geneva had favored Chapter Seven, and even snarked that Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had used as his reason for opposition in Geneva that it was up to the Security Council to invoke Chapter Seven -- but now, Russia uses Lavrov's refusal to agree in Geneva as the reason to not agree in the Security Council. Head spinning.

  As the last P5 Ambassador out of the Council, France's Gerard Araud stopped and told the press, "our draft is negotiable" but must have Chapter 7 in. He said dismissively, "no one is raising the Russian draft." And so it goes.

Footnotes: Inner City Press asked, and Ambassador Rice stopped and answer, not only Syria but Sudan: will Juba and Khartoum be able to meet the August 2 deadline? Ambassador Rice said that is a "lot to get done in a short period of time... they ought to."

  As reported last week, well placed sources tell Inner City Press South Sudan will be opposing any extension beyond August 2, even if Thabo Mbeki asks for it; South Sudan has in mind taking the border issues to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

  Finally, the US Mission's and Ambassador Rice's new lead spokesperson Eric Pelton was present at Monday's meeting, although didn't yet take up the Press suggested "first scrum." As Inner City Press reported last week, Mark Kornblau is going from the frying pan of USUN to the fire of JPMorgan Chase, in the middle of the LIBOR scandal. We'll have more on all this.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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