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On Syria, UN Will Do "Evidence Based Narrative," No Words Against Missile

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 -- With leaders from the US, UK, France and others talking about military action on Syria, Inner City Press at the UN's August 26 noon briefing asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's associate spokesperson Farhan Haq for the UN position on such a military strike. Video here and embedded below

  Haq said the UN will not engage in speculative comment. But it's not speculative. UK foreign minister William Hague, for example, that morning said on the radio that military action on Syria without UN Security Council approval "would be legal, I would argue."

  Hague did not specify under what legal theory: self-defense under UN Charter Article 51? Retaliation or retribution? (Video now has captions)

  Haq said the UN is still trying to put together the Geneva Two talks. But that no longer seems to be the US' interest. Inner City Press' question of whether Ban would at least seek notification before a missile strike, since there are UN staff members inside Syria, went unanswered.

  On a second round, Inner City Press asked Haq whether Ake Sellstrom has any mandate to say WHO used chemical weapons, and how his findings will be conveyed. Haq first confirmed that "responsibility" is not in Sellstrom's mandate.

  But then, after a pause, Haq added something, an If-Asked, about the team constructing "an evidenced based narrative." Every story has a plot. Watch this video of the Q&A. Watch this site.


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