Closed Meeting on Serbia Set at UN, Russian Argument Lost
Russell Lee, Exclusive
July 27 -- Serbia's letter asking for a emergency meeting of
the UN Security Council on Kosovo's “seizure” of a border
crossing in which at least one policeman was killed caused
controversy in the Council Wednesday morning.
Western Council members said they didn't have enough
information, and opposed an open meeting at which, they said, Serbian
foreign minister Vuk Jeremic could “use” the incident.
which Portuguese Permanent Representative Cabral described to Inner
City Press, is to hold a closed door consultation on Thursday
morning, with a briefing by UN Peacekeeping, probably by outgoing
chief Alain Le Roy. (Former UNMIK chief Lamberto Zannier has left to
head the OECD and has not been replaced.)
the closed door session might lead to an open meeting, another
Western delegation said that an open meeting, at least on Thursday,
was “highly unlikely,” expressing concern that the buzz about
Jeremic flying to New York was an attempt to “force” an open
meeting. “He can talk to you, the Press, out here if he want to,”
the Western Council member said.
the Security Council went further, saying that in Wednesday's
consultations about whether to have a meeting the Russian
representative “made two mistakes -- first calling it a 'minor
incident' then referring to two states.”
asked the Russian delegation about this; they say that the UN
mistranslated part of the statement from Russian. “Of course we
wouldn't call it two states.” Neither Serbia nor Russia nor the UN
recognizes Kosovo as a state.
Vuk Jeremic previously in UNSC, Western SC snarks not shown
Permanent Representative of a country in the middle -- let's called
them Non Aligned -- told Inner City Press that Russia at first called
it a “small” incident, then corrected that and that nearly all
other delegations agreed it was serious.
reference was apparently, according to the non aligned source, an
argument that as with the Thailand Cambodia border dispute, any
dispute between two states can trigger a Security Council meeting.
Western members consider Kosovo a state, how can they
oppose a meeting on this issue? And isn't their argument that an
open meeting could inflame things precisely the argument others make,
cynically they say, about places like Southern Kordofan in Sudan?
Watch this site.
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S. Africa Move Toward Joint Communique on Syria, European Members
Grumble at UN
27 -- As the crackdown has intensified in Syria, the
so-called IBSA countries -- India, Brazil and South Africa -- have
been under increasing pressure to “do something about Assad.”
Gerard Araud, for example, wrote an opinion piece in the
Brazilian press urging Brazil to support the long pending draft
Security Council resolution on Syria circulated by the European
members of the Council.
sources have for
some time been telling Inner City Press that IBSA has been moving
toward taking action.
Now on July 26
several European members
complained to Inner City Press that the action the IBSA countries are
moving toward is
not through the Council but rather a communication, or demarche,
directly to Syria.
is not unexpected. As the Council's two resolutions on
Libya have been cited after the fact as authorizing not only
airstrikes but even the parachuting of weapons into the Nafusa
mountains by France, opposition to a Syria Council resolution has
and South Africa, each for its own reasons, wants to take some action
on Syria. Internally, each of the three government faces pressures
from some groups to do more about human rights in Syria, and from
others not to allow “another Libya.”
to Brazil, on a
recent Council on Foreign Relations conference call Inner City Press
asked, “what do you make of Brazil's position on Syria being
portrayed as... obstructionist?”
to Brazil Donna Hrinak responded that the
congress certainly is playing more of a role. Itamaraty at one time
had, you know, virtual monopoly on foreign policy making. Civil
society is a lot more vibrant in Brazil in also speaking out on
foreign policy. You could do quite well by looking at what players
are active in U.S. foreign policy and seeing those same groups
reflected in Brazil.”
would an op-ed
by a French diplomat seeking to impact US foreign policy play out?
Brazil's PR Viotti, India's (3d from
left), Araud behind Susan Rice in shades, IBSA letter not shown
America director Julia Sweig also replied:
respect to Syria, there was a great deal of conflict with France over
that, but there were a couple of resolutions, I believe, that passed
in the Brazilian congress, which is becoming more and more active in
weighing in on foreign policy, condemning 1973, that resolution [on
Libya], and also a great deal of resistance on the Syria front that I
believe Itamaraty is increasingly sensitive to, as our foreign-policy
operatives are themselves when they conduct foreign policy. So in
foreign policy, domestic politics and voices will impinge.”
different in India and South Africa. So for the three to act together
is not unexpected, despite the grumbling from European members of the
Security Council. Watch this site.
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