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March 1, 2011: Libya

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At UN, Israel's Prosor Riffs on Flopilla & Durban III, Repping Peres or Lieberman?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 -- For the last time before the possible UN vote on Palestine in September, there was a long “open debate on the Middle East” in the Security Council on Tuesday. Israel's still relatively new UN Ambassador Ron Prosor in his speech said,

“let me turn to my Palestinian colleague and ask a simple question. Permanent Representative Mansour: on behalf of whom will you present a resolution in September? Mr. Abbas or Hamas?”

  Riyad Mansour responded, “On behalf of the Palestinian people.” One wag said he could have gone further and asked Prosor whom HE represented: Shimon Peres or Avigdor Lieberman? (Mansour's speech touched on the “undemocratic 'boycott law.'”)

  Inner City Press asked Prosor at the stakeout about reports, or at least one report, that Israel would void the Oslo Accords if Palestinian proffers a resolution aiming at statehood in September. Peres has said “no,” and Prosor seemed to -- click here for video.  The stakeout by Mansour is online here.

  On other UN topics, Inner City Press asked Prosor about the Durban III event scheduled for September 22, which the US, Canada, Italy, Netherlands and the Czech Republic are boycotting (although US Ambassador Susan Rice has dubbed it “non-participation”).

  Prosor said that while there are part of the Durban review process that Israel would praise, the anti-Semitic parts lead it to condemn and to ask others to.

Prosor in UNSC on July 26, "flopilla" line and de Schutter criticism not shown

  Inner City Press asked about the long delayed Palmer report on last year's Gaza flotilla. Prosor began by calling this year's on again, off again version the “flopilla."
  He then said that at Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's request, granted by both Israel and Turkey, the report on last year's flotilla is being delayed until August 22 to see if the sides can agree. We'll be here, for that and September: watch this site.

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As Libya Rebels Recognized by Contact Group, UN Stance Unchanged

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- What has been the impact of the Contact Group on Libya last week deeming the National Transitional Council as the legitimate government?

  At the UN, none. A spokesman for the chair of the Libya Sanctions Committee said that there are not changes to the sanctions or arms embargo. (In any event, as Inner City Press covered, France parachuted weapons into the Nafusa mountains.)

At Monday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if the UN would change its decision to silence the NTC's representatives, Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgam and Ibrahim Dabbashi:

Inner City Press: with the decision by the Contact Group to recognize the National Transitional Council as essentially the Government of Libya, I wonder [what] that changes. I know that the UN Secretariat gave these courtesy passes to former Ambassador Shalgham and his deputy, Ibrahim Dabbashi. But then it imposed some conditions that they couldn’t speak at the stakeout, but they could come into the building. Does the Contact Group decision about who is the legitimate representative of Libya change anything about the Secretariat’s decision on these two diplomats that have gone to the Benghazi side?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Not to my knowledge, because the Contact Group is not responsible for recognizing or otherwise.

Inner City Press: Could we get Ian Martin? Is it possible, given Ian Martin’s now even more prominent role in this, you know, transition in Libya, to have him either do a stakeout or come to the this room just to describe what his work is and where it stands?

Spokesperson: We can certainly ask.

So far, nothing. Watch this site.

Footnotes: while Dabbashi most recently predicted to Inner City Press that Gaddafi would be "gone by mid-July," it's now July 18, and he's still there...

  A question put to the IMF's spokespeople on Monday, whether the Contact Group's decision changed in any way the Bretton Woods institution's previous stance of not working with the National Transitional Council has so far not been answered. It will be asked at the IMF's next briefing.

* * *

While France "Parachuting" Weapons into Libya is Criticized, UN Committee Does Not Act: Not "Masochistic," Chair Says

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 7 -- During an hour-long meeting of the Libya Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council behind closed doors on Thursday afternoon, France's admitted dropping of weapons into Libya's Nafusa Mountains was criticized by Council members including Russia, South Africa and India, as violating the arms embargo in Resolution 1970.

  But afterward when Inner City Press asked the Committee's chairman, Portugal's Permanent Representative Cabral, if the committee's requirement of consensus means that France could block any formal condemnation of its actions, Cabral said “we're not a kind of masochistic society.”

  One of the representatives criticizing France, who told Inner City Press that on this topic four spoke against France and three to varying degrees in support, said that “if a Permanent member violates sanctions, what can you do?”

  The representative pointed to paragraphs 13-16 of Resolution 1970 and said that if France thought that its provision of weapons into Libya was legal, it had a procedure to use, but didn't.

  Another delegation went further, saying that France “parachuted” weapons in, not knowing if they might fall into the hands of Al Qaeda, and asking, “why not weapons of mass destruction, too?” This representative said of Cabral, “He has to be serious, this is a precedent -- if you are not going to enforce them, why even have a committee on sanctions?”

  Inner City Press asked Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative what had been accomplished in the meeting. Pankin distinguished between interpretation -- “legal stuff” -- and the practical, that objections were voiced and “I hope we will not have such a [case] again, that's the most practical.” We'll see.

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

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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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