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Low Syria Expectations as Brahimi & Westerwelle Spin & FSA Shifts HQ from Turkey

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 24 -- Even before Lakhdar Brahimi briefed the UN Security Council about his three weeks as envoy to Syria, expectation were low. A Council member told Inner City Press, "Don't expect any breakthroughs."

  In fact, there's been resistance to how to mention Syria in a draft Presidential Statement that Germany, this month's Council president, hopes to have adopted at another ceremonial Council session on September 26.

  When Brahimi emerged to take six questions from the media, he mostly said, give me time, I'm only in the post six months. He quickly agreed that the Syrian National Council or the opposition more generally might be closer to unifying.

  But what impact would that have on the fighting on the ground which is mostly what is pointed to in speeches about Syria?

  Inner City Press, hand up at the stakeout, would have like to ask or have answered what Brahimi thinks of the Free Syrian Army moving its headquarters out of Turkey and into Syria. But this was not selected. The last question concerned Iran, by an Iranian journalist with an Egyptian newspaper.

  German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, who had been expected to hold a press conference Wednesday at 9 am -- now Evo Morales of Bolivia has that spot -- emerged and took questions, including these two, paraphrased:

Q: You revived a six point plan that proved it was not implementable, is this not impotence?

Westerwelle: I am not spokesperson for [Mr.] Brahimi and I made this statement in my capacity as German foreign minister… I want to underscore this once again, this is his work and his responsibility and it was important in the briefing what we just had about this, I talked about the substance of six point plan and I would not give up the substance of the 6 point plan as long as we do not see a better alternative. I am frustrated like you are about the situation, but once again, what is the alternative? We have to help the people, support the people, we have to work with all we can and to do our utmost to finish the violence in Syria. But on the other hand it is also important to be wise, that we do not to run into a conflagration in the whole region. This is also something that concerns me, the effects and consequences on some neighboring countries and we all agree we have to avoid when we see this conflict in Syria set on fire one country after another.

Q: Kosovo style?

Westerwelle: I don’t have anything to add to what I just said about this. We have enough meetings, there are many meetings about this week and we have this subject and we will discuss this subject. We have another meting on Friday we had telephone conference last Friday and if you allow me to add one point I think it would be wise and necessary that the opposition unites itself and not only united against regime of Assad but united on a common democratic pluralistic platform because if we want to promote this process of erosion in the regime of Assad, it is necessary that the people who live in the country see that they have perspective in the country and includes pluralistic structures, this includes religious and ethnic tolerance. This inclusive approach, I advise.

  Good luck with that. Watch this site.

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