UN, US' Rice Accuses Russia of Quibbling on Cote d'Ivoire,
December 7 -- US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on Tuesday
accused Russia of “quibbling with resolutions” on Cote d'Ivoire
which it had voted for, and responded to Russia's demand for a
“correction” of her statement that the presence in the Security
Council of diplomats selected by Laurent Gbagbo did not “endorse or
refute the results of the election” which the Electoral Commission
and UN envoy Y.J. Choi say Gbagbo lost.
Permanent Representative Konstantin Dolgov earlier told Inner City
Press that Rice had not been authorized by his country, and therefore
not by the Council, to speak on the legitimacy of the Cote d'Ivoire
diplomats in the Council, characterizing Rice's as a political and
not a legal statement.
asked Rice to respond, as she entered the Council for continued
consultation on Cote d'Ivoire and the recent ECOWAS statement (and
decision to suspend Cote d'Ivoire from the group.) Rice first said,
“You heard from Russia, they can speak for themselves.” After
being Pressed, Rice continued that “What I said was completely
neutral and non judgmental.
“It was to
preserve the neutrality of the Council,” she said, “so it wasn't
construed one way or the other as endorsing or refuting the elections
results.. simply to keep us clean on that point.”
said “He is free to object in his national capacity and make a
point of order. No one else did. I think it was a plain statement of
what is right.”
Susan Rice previously on Darfur, Russian correction not shown
was an indirect and procedural way of asserting the position that
Laurent Gbagbo is no longer the legitimate head of state of Cote
d'Ivoire. One can understand why Russia would object -- calling it a
"political rather than a legal statement" -- while
understanding why Rice would make such a point “for the record”
or “to keep us clean on that point.”
Will the record in
corrected in some way, as Russia requested? Dolgov told Inner City
Press he was
checking with Russia's lawyers. Watch this site.
is not known is why Rice and the US Mission have not spoken out
or called for a Council meeting about first the 10 SPLM soldiers
killed last week -- Inner City Press' request for comment remains
unresponded to -- and now the SPLM's
call for a Security Council
investigation into Khartoum's continued bombing of Western Bahr al
Ghazal State. Watch this site.
Cote d'Ivoire, Russia Chides Ban's Choi, Reiterates that Susan Rice
be Corrected, Has AU Not ECOWAS Focus
December 7 -- On Cote d'Ivoire, “Mr. Choi went beyond his
mandate,” Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Konstantin
Dolgov told the Press on Tuesday.
He said the UN was to certify
results, not name a winner. Dolgov said that in closed door
consultations, appearing by video from the ECOWAS meeting in Abuja,
Mr. Choi acknowledged as much.
Russia's open critique of Choi Young-jin, a close ally of Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon, might have some bearing on Russia's needed
support for a second term as S-G for Mr. Ban.
asked Dolgov about Russia's objection, first reported
by Inner City
Press, to US Ambassador Susan Rice's statement in the open meeting
that the presence in the chamber of Cote d'Ivoire diplomats named by
Laurent Gbagbo did not imply that they were legitimate
representatives of their country.
that Russia has asked for a correction of Ambassador Rice's
statement. Inner City Press told Dolgov that the US Mission told it
that no correction was needed, even that no procedure exists for such
“We will check
with our lawyers,” Dolgov said, calling a correction “necessary.”
Dolgov with Rice's predecessor Khalilzad, correction not yet shown
suspended its meeting at 1pm on Tuesday, to be picked up at 3 to
consider the ECOWAS statement. Dolgov when asked by Inner City Press
mentioned a forthcoming African Union meeting, to which Thabo Mbeki
will report. Another African diplomat corrected Inner City Press when
it called ECOWAS a regional organization. “A SUB regional
organization,” he said with a smile. Watch this site.
* * *
on Cote d'Ivoire, Russia Demands Susan Rice Statement Be
Russell Lee, Exclusive
December 7, updated -- Russia demanded that US Ambassador Susan
Rice's statement Tuesday on Cote d'Ivoire, ostensibly as UN Security
Council president, be “corrected in the record,” sources tell
Inner City Press.
UN Secretariat to add its objection to the record
on Tuesday's opening meeting. There is not much precedent for this; the
"Verbatim" section must be consulted.
door negotiations since
Friday about the Ivorian crisis, Russia has argued that the Security
Council should not set the precedent of being a certifier of
of the Security Council, Laurent Gbagbo-alligned Ivorian diplomats
told Inner City Press that while UN envoy Y.J. Choi should now come
back to the country for his “protection of civilians” - but not
electoral -- mandate, they argued that “power sharing doesn't
Zimbabwe,” one of them told Inner City Press. But in this scenario,
is Gbagbo playing Robert Mugabe?
Susan Rice at UN, Russian demand for correction not shown
press confernce at the UN Tuesday morning about the International
Criminal Court, it was recalled that Cote d'Ivoire was mentioned as a
target of ICC investigation and prosecution back in 2004. Now there
are mentions again. Watch this site.
12:50 pm -- At the UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN
spokesman Martin Nesirky what the procedure would be to act on
Russia's request that “the Secretariat” somehow “correct”
Susan Rice's statement. Nesirky declined to answer, saying he wasn't
in the consultation -- his office has been barred from consultation
since the Council moved to it current basement venue earlier this
year -- and instead urged Inner City Press to ask the US, as Council
President for December.
has since been told that it is the US' position that there is no
procedure or precedent to “correct” statements such as that of
Ambassador Rice, which was that the presence of Cote d'Ivoire
diplomats in the Council's open session in no way implied that they
were recognized as legitimate representatives of that country at this
-- at what level is not clear -- will reconvene at 3 pm, to consider a
statement confirmed to that of ECOWAS. Watch this site.