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After Veto on Syria, Churkin Counters UK on Lavrov Stance, Rice on Rebels

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 -- In stakeouts after the Syria draft tabled by the UK was shot down by vetoes from Russia and China, Western Ambassadors denounced the "Eastern Two."

  Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice about the abstentions of Pakistan and South Africa, specifically the latter's critique that the draft resoultion was one-sided and wouldn't effectively threaten sanctions on the opposition.

  Rice replied that the opposition would be covered by Chapter Seven. When Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant the same question, he said he had offered to discuss this with Russia, without avail.

  But Russia's Vitaly Churkin told Inner City Press that these discussions led nowhere, to statements that arms embargoes are violated all the time.

  He said that a recent meeting in Geneva considered harm to the Syrian people from US unilateral sanctions.

  Lyall Grant focused on China's explanation of vote, about Chapter 7 of the UN Charter not being in the Geneva communique.

  Lyall Grant said that Russia, whose foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva said that Chapter Seven is a matter for the Security Council, couldn't now use that to put weight on the fact that Chapter Seven wasn't agreed in Geneva.

    Inner City Press put this question to Churkin, who said that Lavrov's statement of jurisdiction had been correct, but that hadn't meant that Russia would agree to Chapter Seven in the Security Council.

Then Churkin went bigger picture, paraphrasing Bill Clinton by saying "It's all about Iran, stupid" (and striking the last word).

He said that after the US invasion of Iraq worked out differently than the US expected -- with an expanded Shi'a and Iranian role, that is -- now they had to try to contain Iran, by way of Syria.

  Returning to the nitty gritty, he confirmed what Inner City Press had first reported before any of the stakeouts, that the UK has put into blue a draft resolution for a "final" 30 day rollover of the UNSMIS mission.

  Churkin noted that the UK had preempted Pakistan and filed its draft with the Secretariat at 9:24 am. He said there was no way this resolution could be voted on by 3 pm, since the rule provides for 24 hours after a resolution is put into blue, and "Syria is serious."

  He called the UK draft contradictory - the rollover if "final," but could be extended if conditions are met. One wonders if Pakistan will file a counter-resolution. Watch this site.

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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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