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Of Jarba & UNSC, Syria PR Tells ICP It's "UK Arrogance," Ban "Shouldn't" Meet

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 23 -- Three hours after the UK announced an "Arria formula" meeting Friday of members the UN Security Council with Saudi ally Ahmed Al Jarba and the National Coalition of Syria, Inner City Press asked Syrian Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari about it.

It's British arrogance," Ja'afari told Inner City Press exclusively. "It's an informal meeting, outside of the Council, on a voluntary basis. It's not on behalf of the Council. It's a British arrogance initiative."

Inner City Press asked Ja'afari if he thought Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would meet with Jarba. "He shouldn't," Ja'afari said, "and he wouldn't," but shrugged. It is becoming a diplomatic circus.

There are many opposition groups which would like the legitimacy which comes with meeting any UN Secretary General. When is it granted?

Ban met with Omar al Bashir of Sudan, indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide -- the UN insisted there was a photograph but no meeting, though Sudan gave a detailed read out. Ban's head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous met Bashir just this month, without explaining why or what was accomplished.

On Syria, at the US State Department briefing on July 22, spokesperson Jen Psaki implied that that delay in convening the so-called Geneva Two meetings was so that the Syrian opposition could elect their leader.

But how legitimate is he? Who had heard of him before the election? Will he do a stakeout Friday? Watch this site.

Footnote: here was the written statement of the UK's Mark Lyall Grant:

The United Kingdom is convening an informal meeting to enable members of the Security Council to engage with the senior leadership of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces at the UN on Friday 26th July. The Coalition delegation will be led by Ahmed Al Jarba, President of the Coalition.

This Arria formula meeting will provide a forum for members of the Council to have a frank and informal exchange with the National Coalition, to discuss key issues relating to the Syrian conflict including; ending the violence and preparing for the Geneva II conference; as well as addressing the issues of humanitarian access, human rights, refugees and protection of civilians.


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