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Annan Gets Syria's Response, UNclear If To Ban Who Has No Meeting with Russia

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 26 -- As Kofi Annan's roadshow for his Syria plan, whatever it is, continued on Monday his spokesman just before noon New York time issued a statement:

"The Syrian Government has formally responded to the Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan's 6-point plan, as endorsed by the UN Security Council. Mr. Annan is studying it and will respond very shortly."

In better coordination than has so far been the case this was read out at the UN's noon briefing by the deputy spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, Annan's successor as UN Secretary General. Then Inner City Press asked the spokesman, Eduardo Del Buey, if Annan would consult Ban before responding:

Inner City Press: on the statement you just have from the Spokesman for the Joint Special Envoy, without obviously getting into what the response of Syria is, it says he’s gotten it and he is going to respond to it. Before he responds to it, does he check with the Secretary-General and with Nabil Elaraby of the League of Arab States, or is his response to it entirely up to him?

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: Well, our Secretary-General is in regular and constant contact with Mr. Annan, so I would imagine that Mr. Annan will be discussing this with the Secretary-General and will be raising his observations and what he may plan to say.

Question: Sure, what I am asking is the process for Kofi Annan to check with the two Secretary-Generals and then respond, or does he respond and then tell them how he responded?

Deputy Spokesperson: Well he has been appointed by both Secretaries-General, and he is in constant communication with them, so I imagine the conversation is ongoing.

This process is important: does "Joint Special Envoy" Annan confer with the UN's Ban and Arab League before responding, or not? Ban's spokesman should not be "imagining" how it works.

  Inner City Press obtained and put online Syria's first response to Annan and put it online here, which Annan called disappointing.

  What we know of Ban's last 48 hours in Seoul is that he has spoken with the leaders of Gabon, Turkey, Australia, Finland and at most length South Korea.

In front of the Security Council in New York on Monday, Inner City Press asked if Ban will meet with Russia's President who is in Seoul, and who has met with US President Barack Obama. No, the answer came. So Kofi Annan is meeting with Russia, but Ban is not. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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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