With Afghan Rifts of UN and Australia, Karzai and Obama,
Mullah Omar Returns
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
November 25 -- A significant split
in strategies in Afghanistan
is being characterized by the UN as merely a matter
of Australia's offer of a one-star general being too late. Australia's
Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, in recent meeting in Canada with other
chiefs, strongly criticized
the UN's Kai Eide's approach to Afghanistan.
Fitzgibbon said his offer was rebuffed not due to timing but to Eide's
preference for agricultural and development aid over a more robust
strategy. Inner City Press on Tuesday at the UN in New York asked Ban
spokesperson Michele Montas to respond to Australia's criticism. Video
from Minute 18:40.
Ms. Montas said that
Australia's offer came in
after a Canadian had been selected. But if Australia was going to pay
general, why not accept the offer? You can't have two generals at once,
Montas said, adding Eide has a letter to the editor forthcoming that
meant Eide's letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, it will not resolve
question. The split appears to be between the Europeans, represented by
Eide, and the approach articulated by Australia's Fitzgibbon but shared
among others, the U.S. and Canada.
UN's Kai Eide, Al Qaeda and dissatisfaction not shown
expectations to the contrary, Barack Obama's replacement of George Bush
lessen this rift. Word on the street in Kabul is that Obama
delayed in meeting with President Karzai, leading him to make his
embarrassing offer to meet with no preconditions with Mullah Omar.
Obama is publicly more willing to meet with the presidents of Iran and
Venezuela than with Afghanistan's. Reach
out to your enemies but not to your allies, the thinking seems to be.
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and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
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