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After Low Key Syria Meeting, UN SC To Dispute Kofi Annan Briefing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 -- After the UN Security Council was briefed on Syria by top humanitarian Valerie Amos, the Permanent Representatives of two of the Council's five permanent members emerged with different emphases.

  China's Li Baodong told Inner City Press that Amos had urged countries to "urge their influence" with Syria. Another member's Deputy Permanent Representative said there was concern that "Assad hasn't signed the humanitarian agreement, but you heard Lavrov say not to politicize humanitarian issues."

  France's Gerard Araud emerged and told the press "there is nothing new on Syria, no meeting, nothing." Walking next to him, US Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo nodded, which Araud called a confirmation.

  But a non-Permanent member's representative told Inner City Press that "the President" -- this month, the UK's Mark Lyall Grant -- had put on the agenda the question of Kofi Annan briefing the Security Council.

  Lavrov had said, it was noted, that Annan would brief the Secretary General who would in turn brief the member states. His post is, after all, a response to a resolution of the General Assembly and not the Security Council.

  But some on the Council would like Annan to brief them directly. Another Council member confirmed to Inner City Press at 11:50 am that this was on the agenda but had not yet been gotten to. But Araud, and then US Ambassador Susan Rice, had already left. We'll see.

Footnote: Inner City Press has three times asked who traveled with Annan, who's getting paid and who they met with. On March 12 Inner City Press asked Ban "is it possible to get a list of the people that accompanied Kofi Annan on his mission to Syria? Also, there was a reference to him meeting businessmen and businesswomen, is there a way to get who went and who they met with?"

Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said, "I can certainly try, Matthew." But 23 hours later, no information at all had been provided.

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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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