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UK Lyall Grant Says Must Support LAS Plan in Full, Cites China's Oil Interests

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 -- After Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong told Inner City Press, "it seems like the other side has started making concessions," this was conveyed to his UK counterpart Mark Lyall Grant.

  "The other side being our side?" Lyall Grant asked Inner City Press with a smile. He grew more serious and said, "I thought we were sensing some concession coming from their side yesterday... We've always said we're prepared to look at some of the details of the text."

  In fact, the track changes made Monday evening to the text were by a UK mission diplomat, as exclusive reported by Inner City Press, here.  Lyall Grant continued, "we'd like unanimous text, but we have clear red lines."

  What about transfer of power?

  Lyall Grant said, "the fundamental issue, as Sheikh Hamad said, is full support of all aspects of the Arab League plan. That's the red line. Some of the other.. is negotiable."

(c) UN Photo
Mark Lyall Grant speaking, with Araud of France silent - "flexible"?

  Inner City Press had asked Li Baodong about the Arab League plan's reference to Assad tranferring power to his deputy, and Li Baodong responded that China would not accept even the "subtext of regime change."

  Told of this, Lyall Grant said, "if they're going to get into subtext... The time will come when" they'll have to "stand up and be counted, are they with the Syrian president or with the Arabs." He paused. "For someone like China, with its oil and energy interests, it's clear where their strategic interests should lie."

  Is it? Watch this site.

Footnote: Germany's Permanent Representative Peter Wittig, told of Li Baodong's statement of China's opposition to even the "subtext of regime change," only said, thanks for telling me.

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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

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