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On Syria, As Clinton Claims Text Ousts Assad, Lavrov Laughs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 30 -- When six hours late Kofi Annan emerged from the Action Group on Syria to speak, his key line to the press when asked if Bashar Assad will end 2012 in power or at the International Criminal court was that he'd left his crystal ball at home.

  The real news was in the back to back press conferences of Hillary Clinton and Sergey Lavrov. Clinton, who took only two questions, claimed that despite agreeing to significant Russia demanded changes to Kofi Annan's draft, Assad still couldn't remain in power under the "mutual consent" clause. She then took questions from AP and Saudi-funded Al Arabiya and moved on.

  Lavrov came out and mocked those who'd claimed they wouldn't agree to change "even a comma," noting the major changes Russia got.

  The draft would have "exclude[d] from government those whose continued presence and participation would undermine of the transition and jeopardize stability and reconciliation." Russia got this removed.

He focused on those funding the opposition who want a spiraling of violence, and chided those - Hillary - who blocked the presence at the Action Group of Iran.

  In the crowd was General Robert Mood, who as Inner City Press exclusively reported yesterday should be leaving on July 20, as the UN Secretariat has proposed to downshift UNSMIS to a political mission.

  There were a lot of UN alumni in the crowd: former Deputy Permanent Representatives of China and of the UK (Karen Pierce), as well as former UK political coordinator David Quarrey. Click here for that, and watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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

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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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