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After Ban Jumps Gun on Syria Report, UN Won't Say Who Else He Spoke With

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 13 -- The UN had few explanations Friday afternoon on why Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the late morning passed judgment on the Syria chemical weapons report he said he had not seen.

As Inner City Press first reported, in the question and answer session of an abruptly closed lecture to the Women's International Forum on Friday morning, Ban said the UN's forthcoming report on Syria will be "overwhelming" and will show that chemical weapons were used, that Assad has committed many crimes against humanity and will face accountability. Video here, from Minute 34:35.

"I can't say this publicly," Ban said, until I get the report.

But he DID say it, putting the bragging about the report by French foreign minister Laurent Fabius and UK officials in a new light.

At the noon briefing that followed, Inner City Press asked Ban's associate spokesperson three times about what Ban said. Haq said it won't be transcribed, Ban made some off the cuff remarks but he'll still look at the report with fresh eyes WHEN HE GETS IT.

But how could call it overwhelming and says what it will conclude if he hasn't seen it?

Inner City Press asked if Ban had passed these same conclusions to France's Laurent Fabius and to the UK, whose officials were quoted in the Times of London speaking on what the report shows.

Haq again refused what the Free UN Coalition for Access has requested, that the UN at least list which countries Ban has spoken with about Syria and the report, for example in the past week.

Haq would not even say if the UN would put the video of Ban's Q&A answers on its website, calling that a technical question. (Later, after this questioning, it did go online.)

Inner City Press asked, since it now strongly looks like Ban was willing to pre-judge the report and pass his conclusion not only to the Women's International Forum but before that to France and the UK, how does the UN respond to this showing of Ban's gun-jumping?

Haq declined to list Ban's calls, saying his diplomatic work continues. Clearly. Watch this site.


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