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On Syria, As Araud Measures Red Line, UNSMIS Held Hostage by "Bogus Link"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 12 -- When the Syria meeting of Permanent Representatives ended Thursday afternoon, French Ambassador Gerard Araud emerged to say, We were 10 kilometers apart, now we are 10 kilometers minus 5 centimeters.

The US may not speak metric but seems to agree, pursuant to US Ambassador Susan Rice's July 11 closed door statement first reported by Inner City Press that the US will only support a Syria resolution under Chapter 7.

But beyond what China's Li Baodong told Inner City Press earlier on Thursday, that China like Russia opposes Chapter 7, a more detailed argument was made to Inner City Press by a non-Western Council member at the end of Thursday's meeting.

"How can you sanction the opposition?" the non-Western member asked. "Even if you say you are sanctioning them, who are they? So they are trying to take the extension of UNSMIS hostage, making this bogus connection."

Others have opined that when the deadline comes, next Friday, unless the Western powers see a benefit in canceling the UNSMIS mission, they may back off what Araud called their "red line" of Chapter 7.

Then again, other things can happen. Thursday Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Pankin was asked repeatedly about a massacre he said he hadn't yet heard of -- "we are not reading newspapers in there" -- and asked if that changes Russia's opposition to Chapter 7.

They will continue meeting on July 13, a week before the deadline. Watch this site.

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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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