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On Syria, China Supports Rollover, UK Wants to Hear, Russia Is Not Igor

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 11, updated -- As Ambassadors filed into the UN Security Council to hear envoy Kofi Annan's briefing about Syria late Wednesday morning, it was the draft resolution Russia circulated on Tuesday that drove the questioning.

  Inner City Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud, "Any views of the Russian draft?"

  Araud said, "No, no views." It is expected that France and others will counter-circulate their own draft, which unlike the Russians' will be under UN Charter Chapter 7.

  UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant said it made no sense to talk yet about rolling over the mandate until Annan's briefs the Council on the "wider plan."

  China's Permanent Representative Li Baodong, on the other hand, said "We will support the rollover" of the mandate of the mission, UNSMIS.

  Inner City Press asked Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Sasha Pankin if there had been any direct responses to his country's draft. Mostly what you got, he replied, referring to US Ambassador Susan Rice's exclusive quote to Inner City Press on Tuesday, that the Russian draft is "insufficient."

  Pankin noted that his name is NOT "Igor," as he was identified citing AFP on a site overseen by the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, which also oversees Voice of America....

Update: here from a friend on Inenr City Press are fast type-ups:

German Ambassador Wittig:

..with the briefing of Kofi Annan, we will hear his briefing, hear about his trip to the region, to Damascus, here about the next steps he envisages, it’s important not just to focus on the future of UNSMIS in isolation but we have to see the broader picture.  For us it’s very important to include compliance with our discussions that we have taken so far.  Compliance for the six point plan and compliance for our resolutions.  The use of heavy weapons has to be also very much at the enter of our deliberations.  That is I think the framework in which we will be discussing.  

So do you have the Russian draft?

We’ve read it, first of all, we think and then we will discuss texts.  First of all we think to focus just on UNSMIN in isolation we want compliance with the decisions of the Security Council.  We want to see the stop of heavy weapons and we’ll use our toolbox.
UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant
Well, the Russian draft  really is slightly beside the point.  Because UNSMIS mission was set up with two purposes.  It was to oversee the cessation of violence secondly it was to monitor implementation of Annan’s six point plan. It hasn’t been able to do either of those tasks.  SO the question of the rollover doesn’t really apply until will know what the wider context and is.  In that wider context what the future role of UNSMIS may be.  We should be focusing in the SC today on that wider plan.  That’s what we want to hear from Mr. Kofi Annan today.
Propose a counter draft?
Well, I expect so but we will have the courtesy to listen to Mr. Annan’s briefing before we circulate a draft.
Do you have a draft ready?   
Of course we have some number of drafts ready.  But we’ll consider exactly which text to circulate in the light of Mr. Annan’s briefing.

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