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On Syria, Russian Draft Called Inadequate or Enriched, SNC Money Claims

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 17, updated -- On the eve of the scheduled vote on Syria resolution(s), Security Council deputies met for nearly two hours about the Russian draft. Afterward Russian Deputy Alexander Pankin called his draft "enriched."

  UK Deputy Philip Parham, on the other hand, called the Russian draft "inadequate." Another Council source told Inner City Press that in the meeting on the Russian draft, Chapter Seven was pushed as an amendment, as something lacking from the draft.

  Pankin was asked if his enrichments included Chapter Seven or Article 41. He scoffed and said, why would we put one of our red lines in. My minister has been very clear.

  And so a showdown is set up, for July 18 at 3 pm. Parham said actually voting at that time will depend on what happens in the "next twelve to twenty four hours."

  There was pressure from across First Avenue as well. On the 28th floor of the Millennium Plaza Hotel, representatives of the Syrian National Council held a press conference, featuring Najib Ghadbian, Bassma Kodmani and Khalid Saleh of the SNC Executive Office

They said that if the Security Council doesn't include Chapter Seven, they will go in another direction, to regional organizations.

   They said that the Syrian National Council has received $15 million, and has spend 94% of it on aid inside Syria.

   That would leave $900,000 for all the SNC's expenses. One wondered, how much is this hotel meeting room, and rooms for five representatives, flights, and other meetings? But this question was not taken. Yet.

  One wag mused maybe these are the ones enriched, using Pankin's word for his draft.

Footnote: The Kosovo meeting which preceded the consultation on Russia's Syria draft led, it seemed, to nothing. Afterward a participant told Inner City Press that briefer Herve Ladsous said he didn't know who killed the two Serbs in Kosovo, and on fighters from Syria visiting Kosovo Ladsous had only press reports.

  That's why they call Ladsous "Mister Press" -- or not. Ladsous on Tuesday refused, on camera, to answer Press questions on Lebanon and UN Peacekeeping killing in Congo. Watch this site.

Update of 6:34 pm - as Colombia's Nestor Osorio, president of the Security Council for July, left for the evening, he stopped and told the Press that if there's "no movement" by noon or 1 pm on July 18, there will be a vote at 3. If there is a veto - he called it a "niet" -- there might be a rollover to allow UNSMIS to pull out, as the SNC also said earlier. Showdown...

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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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