Africa Confirms Action on Syria with India & Brazil,
IBSA Deputy Ministers on the Road to Damascus?
July 28 -- Deputy ministers from India, Brazil and South
Africa, the so-called IBSA, intend soon to fly to Damascus and
address the situation in Syria, South Africa's Permanent
Representative Baso Sangqu told the Press on Thursday.
have nothing to do with the Security Council at all,” he said, even
though the three country's current sit on the Council.
will be “a trilateral engagement with the Syrian government...
Demarche them, encourage them, see where they are on
of things... As IBSA. Probably deputy ministers will be going to
Damascus, it should be soon... to assist them to overcome the
difficulties that they have.”
City Press exclusively
reported that the three countries were
preparing a joint “demarche” on Syria, and quoted Western
sources as complaining this was a way to take pressure off from
supporting the European proposed resolution on Syria that is
languishing in the Council.
closed door consultation with UN political chief Lynn Pascoe on
Thursday, a Western spokesman described a “heated... deadlock” on
Syria, and Libya, inside the meeting. A list of the number of dead,
by day, was read out.
SA's Sangqu, IBSA's road to Damascus not yet shown
Representative Mark Lyall Grant told the Press that “Pascoe
confirmed the situation is deteriorating, peaceful protests were
being repressed. I made the case that the Security Council should not
remain silent at this point, we hope members of the Council would
rally to the resolution. If they have alternatives, we should hear
about them and the success of those alternatives on achieving an end
to the violence and a political dialogue between the government and
those protesting going forward.”
consultations said that while IBSA has been speaking “for four
weeks” about their plans, they haven't yet gone. To some it seems a
savvy move; to others it seems to undermine these countries claims to
permanent seats on the Council, if they seek to bypass it. Then
again, the US did in Iraq, and some say the French have bypassed or
gone beyond Council resolutions in Libya. Watch this site.
* * *
Africa Move Toward Joint Communique on Syria, European Members
Grumble at UN
-- As the crackdown has intensified in Syria, the
so-called IBSA countries -- India, Brazil and South Africa -- have
been under increasing pressure to “do something about Assad.”
Araud, for example, wrote an opinion piece in the
Brazilian press urging Brazil to support the long pending draft
Security Council resolution on Syria circulated by the European
members of the Council.
sources have for
some time been telling Inner City Press that IBSA has been moving
toward taking action.
Now on July 26
several European members
complained to Inner City Press that the action the IBSA countries are
moving toward is
not through the Council but rather a communication, or demarche,
directly to Syria.
not unexpected. As the Council's two resolutions on
Libya have been cited after the fact as authorizing not only
airstrikes but even the parachuting of weapons into the Nafusa
mountains by France, opposition to a Syria Council resolution has
and South Africa, each for its own reasons, wants to take some action
on Syria. Internally, each of the three government faces pressures
from some groups to do more about human rights in Syria, and from
others not to allow “another Libya.”
to Brazil, on a
recent Council on Foreign Relations conference call Inner City Press
asked, “what do you make of Brazil's position on Syria being
portrayed as... obstructionist?”
Brazil Donna Hrinak responded that the
congress certainly is playing more of a role. Itamaraty at one time
had, you know, virtual monopoly on foreign policy making. Civil
society is a lot more vibrant in Brazil in also speaking out on
foreign policy. You could do quite well by looking at what players
are active in U.S. foreign policy and seeing those same groups
reflected in Brazil.”
would an op-ed
by a French diplomat seeking to impact US foreign policy play out?
Brazil's PR Viotti, India's (3d from
left), Araud behind Susan Rice in shades, IBSA letter not shown
America director Julia Sweig also replied:
respect to Syria, there was a great deal of conflict with France over
that, but there were a couple of resolutions, I believe, that passed
in the Brazilian congress, which is becoming more and more active in
weighing in on foreign policy, condemning 1973, that resolution [on
Libya], and also a great deal of resistance on the Syria front that I
believe Itamaraty is increasingly sensitive to, as our foreign-policy
operatives are themselves when they conduct foreign policy. So in
foreign policy, domestic politics and voices will impinge.”
different in India and South Africa. So for the three to act together
is not unexpected, despite the grumbling from European members of the
Security Council. Watch this site.