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UN Leaps Palestine to Syria, Mood Looks Like the Man, Saudi Snark on Abu Musa

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 23 -- Syria was the subtext in the UN Security Council throughout Monday's Middle East debate. Speaker after speaker began with Palestine, but ended with Syria, nearly all of them reflexively offering support for Kofi Annan and his six point plan.

  Norway offered support -- and offers its General Robert Mood as Force Commander or SRSG, no longer opposed by Russia as it appeared from Ambassador Churkin's stakeout ten days ago.

  Toward the end of the debate, Iran and members of the Latin Grupo ALBA took their terms, opposing regime change but tellingly also praising Kofi Annan. Is this good diplomacy or sloppy thinking?

  Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative took a swipe at Iran about Abu Musa island, then intoned that "repression... no longer has a place in the modern world."

One imagined that Syria's Bashar Ja'afari would snark back about the plight of women in Saudi Arabia. But instead his approach was to chide Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his Political Affairs director Lynn Pascoe for not mentioning the Golan Heights.

Afterward Ja'afari told Inner City Press that the Middle East agenda item of the Security Council is supposed to be about Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and the Occupied Golan, but has been switched into talk about his country. He didn't respond to two Iranian journalists' question about Abu Musa.

Iran, in the chamber, called Abu Musa an "eternal" part of the Iranian territory, and alluded to its "brotherly" relations with the Gulf States. Which ones? Maybe the majority in Bahrain? Watch this site.

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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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