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At UN, As Syria Defense Moves from Bias to German Gypsies, "95 Would Be Good"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 21 -- Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari on Monday moved between the Security Council and a General Assembly committee meeting in the UN's North Lawn building, escalating his responses first to a UN briefing then a resolution of condemnation introduced by Germany.

  Inner City Press asked Ja'afari what he thought of the morning briefing by UN envoy Robert Serry. Ja'afari replied that Serry is biased, and wants to shift focus on the Middle East agenda item away from Israel and its occupations, including of the Syrian Golan.

  Serry said that Lebanon not supporting the Arab League vote to suspend Syria caused problems in Lebanon. When Inner City Press asked about it, Ja'afari scoffed and said that Serry might want to "talk about the weather in Lebanon."

  (Later it was explained to Inner City Press that Lebanon scrupulously abstains on all matters Syria at the United Nations, but that the Arab League vote was somehow different. We aim to have more on this.)

  In the afternoon with much fanfare, and rare UN Television coverage of a committee meeting, German UN Ambassador Peter Wittig introduced a draft resolution on human rights in Syria.

  From his prepared text, circulated fifteen minutes before the session, and its actually delivery, Bahrain joined as a sponsor. (One wag said Bahrain is lucky it doesn't have a resolution against it, in the committee.)

  Here, Ja'afari's response went further. He said that Germany and France mistreat Roma that is Gypsies within their borders, and that the US, France and UK have colonies "scattered around the world."

(c) UN Photo
Ja'afari in the Council, previously, not shown are Roma much less Sinti

  The vote is scheduled for November 22, and a major proponent late Monday told Inner City Press that "ninety five [votes for] would be a good showing."Watch this site.

Footnote: comparing votes on two country specific resolutions earlier on Monday -- that on DPRK or North Korea and that on Iran, one finds for example that Qatar abstained on DPRK, but voted "no" on -- that is, for -- Iran. The same was true of Sri Lanka. One well placed wag out in the North Lawn hall said that North Korea has alienated many more countries, causing problems "across borders." Another said that North Korea unlike Iran has "nothing to offer, nothing to trade." Iran did sell weapons to Sri Lanka. How will this play out on the Syria vote? We'll see.

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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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