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On Syria, Ban's UNscheduled P5 Meeting, Sellstrom on May 3, Popova Evidence?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 2 -- On Syria, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with the Permanent Five members of the Security Council at 10:45 am.

  But even after noon, the meeting was not on Ban's online public schedule. So Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky about it. From the UN's transcript:

Spokesperson Nesirky: the Secretary-General invited the ambassadors of the permanent five members of the Security Council to an informal meeting this morning, for discussions on Syria. They discussed possible diplomatic moves to end the crisis. He briefed them on the latest developments relating to the chemical weapons investigation mission. And they also discussed the ever-worsening humanitarian situation inside Syria and the neighboring countries and international efforts to alleviate it. Okay, yes?

Inner City Press: it might seem kind of procedural to you, but I am looking at the appointments of the Secretary-Generalís page, and I donít see that meeting. I understand it may have come up quickly, but is this the type of meeting that normally would be listed? I have been trying and understand what gets listed and what doesnít get listed.

Spokesperson Nesirky: The first part of your layered question has the answer in it.

Inner City Press: Meaning what? That it came up quickly?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Correct. Next question?

  But the meeting wasn't even put on Ban's online schedule an hour and a half after the meeting took place. Last week, Inner City Press asked Nesirky about Ban meeting former French president (and current investment adviser to Qatar) Nicholas Sarkozy.

  Nesirky didn't answer Inner City Press, but gave the answer to Agence France Presse: Ban met Sarkozy at Ban's UN-provided residence. It was never put on Ban's schedule -- despite Sarkozy's connection with Qatar, which is to say, on Syria.

  Now on May 3, Ban is publicly scheduled to meet his chemical weapons prober Ake Sellstrom at 12:30 pm. Will Sellstrom have considered any of the evidence of Anastasia Popova by then? On May 1 Inner City Press asked Nesirky:

Inner City Press: yesterday, the Russians hosted a Russian State journalist that had been in Syria for some eight months, Anastasia Popova. Among other things, she said that she was in Khan al-Assal just after the attack and interviewed people. So, she said that she is offering this evidence. She said that the Pinheiro panel didnít want to speak with her, saying that they would only speak first-hand to refugees, but I am wondering whether it is the Secretary-Generalís understanding that his probe, if it canít get into the country, or while it canít get into the country, is this the type of evidence that they would be willing to take a look at?

Spokesperson Nesirky: The mission is looking at many different kinds of material that is available. And if this journalist, Ms. Papova, has information that she thinks is useful, then she should seek to contact the team. I am sure that she could do that through the Russian Mission. I am sure that that would be feasible. Whether it turns out to be admissible evidence or not is another matter, but there is no reason not to at least make the offer.

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