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On "Condensed" Syria Draft, UN SC To Meet Saturday, Return to Barracks In?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 13 -- When the UN Security Council meeting on Syria finally broke up on Friday evening, French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the press it was tough, there was no final agreement reached, but there will be a vote on Saturday, set for 11 am. UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the same: vote at 11 am.

Russia's Vitaly Churkin spoke at more length, saying he was not entirely satisfied with the negotiations, that others had tried to push their "pet" issues. He said a new draft would be circulated, let's see what's in it.

US Ambassador Susan Rice, this month's Council president, declined to get into the specifics of the new draft. Inner City Press asked her about South Sudan's refusal to leave Heglig. She said, "That is not good. They need to go."

Western diplomats, on background, told Inner City Press that the result of the afternoon's negotiations was to "condense" the draft. Sure, "demand" became "calls upon" -- but the "essential," they said, is still in. Others emphasized that if a draft is approved on Saturday, at least twelves advance observers could be in Syria the same day.

To the side, a non-Western Council member told Inner City Press that "voluntarism" is best. "Look that the United States," the Council member said. "They don't allow Iranian diplomats free movement... Assad could pull his troops back into the barrack -- then have them come out again." And so it goes at the UN -- 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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