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On Syria, As UN Moves Toward Monitors, Turkey Talks NATO

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 12 -- As the UN Security Council moves to negotiation a resolution to send an advance team of monitors to Syria, the "incidents" on the Syrian border with Turkey continue to reverberate. US Ambassador Susan Rice, as president of the Security Council for April, began her read out of Kofi Annan's closed door video briefing by referring to the April 9 cross border firing.

  Inner City Press asked Ambassador Rice about Turkey's letter to the Security Council reporting the incident, and Turkish leadership's talk that NATO Article 5 might be invoked, that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all.

  Rice replied that Turkey has not yet formally invoked Article 5, only notified of the incident. She was asked about Syria's criticism of the US providing communications equipment to the opposition, and replied that only Syria is violating Annan's Six Point Plan.

  But what about Saudi Arabia and Qatar moving to pay the salaries of the Free Syrian Army?

   Inner City Press asked Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari about Turkey's NATO argument. He replied that Turkey is hosting armed groups. He said that a group came across the border and attacked a police station "over there," and the Syrian forces "retaliated." We'll see - watch this site.

From the US Mission transcript:

Inner City Pres: About the April 9th incident on the Turkish border that you began with: Turkey has said that this might call into play Article 5 of NATO, that an attack on one is an attack on all. Has the Council received any letter from Turkey and what does the U.S. think of that?

Ambassador Rice: I am not aware of-maybe my colleagues can correct me-of a Turkish letter, except to initially report the incident. I'm not aware of a letter that specifically mentions Article 5 of NATO unless it's come in, and I haven't yet had the opportunity to see it. I'm aware of press reports that Turkish officials have mentioned that, were there to be sustained violence and attacks on Turkish territory, that they feel it necessary to invoke Article 5. That was not raised nor has it been discussed in the Security Council.

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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

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