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On Syria, from UN to Russian Mission, 45 Minutes, No Comment, R2N?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 11 -- The day after US President Barack Obama's Oval Office speech on Syria, the Permanent Five members of the Security Council met. But where?

  At the Russian Mission, Inner City Press followed and found out: and from 4:10 to 4:45, when Ambassadors Power, Araud and Lyall Grant walked out, refusing comment.

The meeting came after yesterday's cancellation of the consultations of the full Council which Russia had requested. While as Inner City Press reported yesterday the meeting was formally cancelled by an e-mail from the Russian side, they explain that it was France that asked them to cancel it, to "work on" -- or soften -- the French draft resolution.

Wednesday before 3 pm Inner City Press went to the building that houses the French and UK Missions at 3 pm, and witnessed French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud stroll in at 3:06 pm. Clearly, the meeting was not at 3 pm.

Back in the lobby of the UN, a major non-Council member told Inner City Press that it would be at the Russian Mission, up on 67th Street. But from the French mission a colleague called in: US Ambassador Samantha Power had gone it.

One CitiBike ride later, it became clear: the P3 held a pre-meeting on 47th Street. Then UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant came out and got into a black car. A Lebanese TV journalist was whisked away, and a black van carrying Ambassador Power also headed north.

A subway ride later, Inner City Press witnessed Ambassador Power going into the Russians' white brick mission, across from the Park East Synagogue and a fire station, at 4:10 pm.

How long would she stay? In the morning Power spoke on the Responsibility to Protect. Is there a Responsibility to Negotiate? Between a French draft resolution under Chapter 7, praised by Human Rights Watch for its citation to the International Criminal Court, and the Russian proposal of a Presidential Statement? Watch this site.


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