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On Syria "No Breakthrough," Russian PR Says, Security Grills Press as Rice Leave P5 + Morocco

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 -- After nearly three hours meeting inside the US Mission to the UN on a draft resolution on Syria, the Permanent Representatives of Russia and China emerged together onto First Avenue. Inner City Press asked them to characterize the meeting.

  "No breakthrough," Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.

  Inner City Press had been waiting for an hour outside the heavily fortified US Mission. A white shirted security officer had said it was not worth it, "they are across the street... when the P5 are here there is always a Jaguar outside."

  They moved a big black four by four around the corner onto 45th Street, presumably for US Ambassador Susan Rice, who earlier on Thursday told Inner City Press, about the World Bank top job, "C'mon, I've got a great job."

   After Churkin's answer to Inner City Press, another white shirted security officer told Inner City Press not to "run up and ask questions, we have a lot of security here."

  Another officer demanded, "what's in the backpack, you might have a bomb in there."

  As Inner City Press answered the officer's questions, the black four by four was loaded and drove away. A diversion or stratagem against press coverage?

USUN mission empty before P5 let out March 8, 2012 (c) MRLee

  In four days, ministers Lavrov, Hague, Araud and Hillary Clinton descend with high representatives of China and Gulf States on the UN to discuss the Arab Spring.

The idea behind Thursday meeting, a Western diplomat told the Press, is to keep the negotiation process going hoping to catch lightning in a bottle on March 12. But can they get a report-back by then from envoy Kofi Annan's trip, which only starts March 10?

A Gulf country diplomat told Inner City Press that the draft is "already weak and getting weaker." There are moves to strip out any "further measures," and to switch the sequence of stopping violence to "in conjunction."

Realistically, it seems unlikely the Syrian opposition would ever agree that Assad's forces had pulled out. So, the argument goes, a vacuum would be created and the opposition take over.

Car speeds from USUN on Marhc 8, 2012, abuse not shown (c) MRLee

Inner City Press stumbled on the P5 Plus Morocco meeting while returning from a briefing at the Mexican Mission about the G20, and a stakeout of North Korean nuclear negotiators in the Millennium Hotel in the same building.

The informative Mexican G20 delegation, about whom we will be writing more, has not met with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. But Ban was spotted on the afternoon of March 7 going into the Millennium Hotel. Inquiring minds want to know: what for? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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