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At UN on Syria, "Hostility to Security Forces" Would Be In, Format Not Agreed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 2, updated -- When the Security Council took a 15 minute break from Syria "text" negotiations on Tuesday afternoon, the UK delegation was charged with incorporating some but not all proposed changes to the "married" draft of Brazil's point and the original UK resolution.

Brazil's points, which Inner City Press put online earlier on Tuesday, included a condemnation of "hostility against security forces" and noted "actions already taken by the Syrian Government in launching dialogue as well as the reform measures already announced."

Inner City Press asked Indian ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri if those points had been agreed to, and also asked a European representative about them. Both answered, in essence, that it is a package deal. It seems to involve including a reference to condemnation of hostility to security forces, but not in the same place, to imply equivalence, as condemnation of the government's crackdown.

Another well placed source confirmed the reference to hostility to security forces was agreed, but "moved to another paragraph."

Update of 5:27 pm - a "married" UK - Brazil draft seen by Inner City Press does "comdemn... violence against security forces." Also calls on Syria to investigate human rights violations (!)

Amb. Maria Viotti of Brazil, with Hardeep of India and Churkin: Brazil points now shown

But all of this wordsmithing may be moot. The plan is to send the text to capitals, but there has been no agreement on the format to be used, resolution or Presidential Statement. The latter could be blocked by a single member -- read, Lebanon -- while the former requires nine vote and no veto. There is movement but it could stop, abruptly.

* * *

At UN on Syria, India Speaks of Marriage of UK & Brazilian Points, Online Here

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 2 -- In the break between Tuesday's Syria sessions of the Security Council, Inner City Press asked the Council president for August Hardeep Singh Puri if the proposal made in the morning by Brazil was also on behalf of India and South Africa.

His answer, as Indian ambassador, was that a request had been made to "marry" the Brazil elements with the UK's updated resolution.

   Inner City Press has obtained the "Brazilian points" and as a public service is putting them online:

Condemn all forms of violence including the use of force against unarmed civilians, sectarian violence as well as hostility against security forces.

· Call for a Syrian-led political process that is inclusive, with the aim of effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the population which will allow for the full exercise of fundamental freedoms, including that of expression and peaceful assembly.

· Call for an immediate end to the violence and urge all sides to act with the utmost restraint, respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, and to refrain from reprisals.

· Refer to actions already taken by the Syrian Government in launching dialogue as well as the reform measures already announced.

· Urge the Government of Syria to expedite the implementation of these measures and to continue and expand the dialogue process.

· Call on the Syrian authorities to comply with their international obligations under human rights and humanitarian law and to launch a credible and impartial investigation into the violence in Syria. In this regard all parties should be held accountable for violence perpetrated; be it the use of force against unarmed civilians, sectarian violence or hostilities against security forces.

   Note the "hostility against security forces" and "all parties" -- Hardeep Singh Puri spoke of 350 security forces killed -- and the crediting of the Syrian Government for reform measures already announced.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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