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At UN on Syria, 3 Serious Brackets, Big Rift on S-G Report, Text to Capitals

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 2 -- As the UN Security Council broke up Tuesday night and Western spokesmen said a text would be sent to capitals,  there were widely differing read-out from the Council's various factions.

  The Western spokespeople put a positive spin on the day's work, saying that a text was nearly agreed to but for a few sticking points. But a well placed source from the bloc of Brazil, India and South Africa, IBSA, told Inner City Press that of the text's eight paragraph there are five "brackets" not agreed to, three of them serious.

  Beyond how to condemn violence and how not to make moral equivalence with violence against security forces -- a major US issue -- another rift emerged.

  The final paragraph would request a report from the Secretary General in seven days. Some want it to be longer, some don't want it at all, arguing that Syria is not the Council's agenda and that if an S-G report, "Western influenced," further condemned Assad the Western Council members would use it "like in Libya."

  Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant about the issue of S-G reports. "That's one of the unresolved issues," he acknowledged.

  China's Deputy Permanent Representative Wang told Inner City Press that even the text was difficult to agree on, and that format had "not even been discussed" as of 7 pm.

 South Africa's Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu told Inner City Press his country would like to agree to a PRST (Presidential Statement), and that a way could be found, even with Lebanon.

After nearly all Ambassadors had left, Russia's Vitaly Churkin did a stakeout. Inner City Press asked him about the push to include regular reporting to the Council by the S-G. Churkin said that the Council can get briefings as needed. He said some members were pushing too far, regarding Syria and "civil war," as he called it.

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

A source in the consultations said of Lebanon's Deputy Permanent Representative, "She says she wants a text to send back to Beirut," calling this a change from Lebanon's previously block of any kind of statement. "Maybe there's been a change in Beirut," the Council source, from another continent, told Inner City Press. We'll see.

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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