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UN Asks Amos to Go to Syria, Russia Says Not Opposing Since No Aid Militarization

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 22 -- At the February 21 luncheon of UN Security Council members and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Pankin brought up what was earlier tweeted from Moscow: that there should be a humanitarian envoy to Syria.

  France, participants in the closed door luncheon tell Inner City Press, was particularly dismissive.

  On February 22, Ban's Deputy Spokesman announced that Ban will be "meeting Nabil Elaraby to discuss the appointment of a special envoy to handle the crisis. In the meantime, the Secretary-General has asked Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, to visit Syria."

  During this announcement, Inner City Press was being told where to go and not go by UN Security. From where it was confined, Inner City Press asked Amos' Deputy Catherine Bragg if there was any indication that Syria's Bashar al Assad would allow Amos into the country. We really don't know, Bragg told Inner City Press.

  Back at the Security Council, closed door consultations were postponed until late on Tuesday after a long meeting about Timor Leste. Some wondered, how could Russia oppose Amos going? And after the meeting, Russian Deputy Pankin told Inner City Press, "he is dispatching her. We are not opposing it. She is the chief humanitarian in this organization. She is fully aware of the challenges and fully rejects the militarization of aid, armed convoys, and protecting by force. So she will engage in seeking some arrangements, windows, openings."

Inner City Press asked, "Why not a Security Council statement?"

  Amb. Pankin replied, "Let's see the Syrian reaction." Let's -- 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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