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At UN on Syria, Arab League Report Still Not In, Germany Says No Precondition

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 26, updated -- After a morning in which several Western members of the Security Council said that the Arab League would brief the Council on Monday, when consultations broke up at 1:45 pm on Thursday, things were not so clear.

Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin stopped and told the Press that the Arab League monitoring report annex (which Inner City Press first reported on yesterday, here) has still not been received, "even in Arabic."

Once it is, Churkin said, it must be translated into English -- he said he did not demand Russian -- and given to capitals. He mentioned a possible briefing on Tuesday. He told Inner City Press that "General Dabi," the Sudanese chief of the monitoring mission, will be be available but that he requested, and no one objected, that if members request it Dabi come and brief at some later date.

  Germany's Deputy Permanent Representative Miguel Berger came out and said that having the annex "cannot be a precondition" for the briefing.

  He said that Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi, and the Qatari minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, now dubbed "HBJ" by some Council diplomats, would be able to tell the Council everything that is in the report.

(c) UN Photo
UN SG, PGA with HBJ: Arab League report not yet shown

 Berger said Germany would have preferred Monday -- which makes it sound like Tuesday at latest. Meanwhile some say HBJ arrives in New York on Saturday, so that could change. Watch this site.

Update of 4:10 pm -- Inner City Press is reliably informed that the ArabLeague briefing of the Council is Tuesday 3pm, regardless of annex and translation (which will "probably" be done).

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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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