Ban Met Otunbayeva Twice Before Bakiyev Was Toppled, Johnny
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 15 -- Days after the UN refused to answer if Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon met with Rosa Otunbayeva before she replaced
President Bakiyev as ruler of Kyrgyzstan, then referred only to a
by Ban's political advisor Lynn Pascoe, Inner City Press
learned that Ban attended two meeting with Ms. Otunbayeva, before
City Press that Ban attended two meetings, one closed and an open one
with parliamentarians, at which Otunbayeva spoke to him. While Ban
did not do a projected media availability on April 15 after he
briefed the Security Council on his Central Asia trip, Inner City
Press caught up with Lynn Pascoe in his wake.
asked Pascoe to confirm or deny that Ban met twice with Otunbayeva.
To his credit, Pascoe confirmed it. There were three things, he said.
The first, the S-G with parties, opposition parties, Rosa Otunbayeva
spoke. And then with the parliament. In the first, she raised the
question of opposition folks who were demonstrating. The S-G said,
I'm going to be taking meetings, I have Pascoe. So I did it.
spokesperson Farhan Haq, when Inner City Press asked in
Ban had met Otunbeyeva, said he would not comment on the new leader.
Then when Inner City Press asked Martin Nesirky, Ban's spokesman,
Nesirky mentioned only the Pascoe meeting. He used the word
"singular," which no longer makes sense: there was more
than one opposition leader met with, and more than one meeting, even
UN's Ban and Bakiyev, just before his
overthrow, Otunbayeva meetings not disclosed
April 12, Inner
City Press asked
for a "readout on what opposition leaders did
the UN delegation meet with while in Kyrgyzstan?"
Nesirky: I think it is singular rather than plural, and it was Ms.
Otunbayeva. This was a meeting with about half a dozen
representatives, mostly journalists and including Ms. Otunbayeva. This
took place during the Secretary-General’s visit. The
Secretary-General was in other meetings, and he asked Mr. Pascoe and
a number of other advisers who were travelling in that delegation to
Central Asia to meet with them and they were then able to report to
the Secretary-General on the conversation.
City Press: Did they make any predictions? Or is it possible to get
kind of a readout of what was discussed at the meeting?
No, I do not think it is possible to have a readout of that meeting
in itself, because that goes beyond normal diplomatic practice.
asked Pascoe about this on April 15, that his meeting was with
"mostly journalists." Pascoe said, "I saw that and I
cringed a little bit, there were several opposition figures."
some it appears
that the UN is playing down -- to put it diplomatically -- Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's pre-overthrow meetings with opposition leader
why? Some point
to the obvious double standards of having denounced the ouster of
President Zelaya from Honduras and the leader of Niger, but not this.
On that, we will continue to report. Watch this site.
Footnote: the split
between Pascoe and the UN spokespeople is highlighted, not to
discourage Pascoe from saying what happened, but to encourage the
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Pascoe Met with Kyrgyz Otunbayeva Days Before Bakiyev Ouster, Johnny
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 12 -- When the UN's Ban Ki-moon was in Kyrgyzstan last
week, just before the violent overthrow of President Kurmanbek
Bakiyev, his top political advisor met with a single opposition
figure: former UN staff member Roza Otunbayeva, days before she took
over Bakiyev's place as a de facto head of state a/k/a coup leader.
City Press reported,
then exclusively, that Ms. Otunbayeva had worked
for the UN from 2002 to 2004 in Georgia. Inner City Press asked Mr.
Ban's spokespeople if Ban "or his staff had any communications
with her prior or subsequent to the fall of the Baliev Government
spokesman Farhan Haq replied archly, "I wouldn't comment
on the leadership in Kyrgyzstan while Jan Kubis prepares his visit. I
can confirm that Rosa Otunbayeva had been Deputy SRSG for UNOMIG from
2002 to 2004. "
weekend, sources told Inner City Press that Ban's head of Political
Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, had met with opposition figures including
Ms. Otunbayeva. Some suggested, perhaps tongue in cheek, that Mr. Ban
had belatedly become something of a Johnny Appleseed of revolutions,
in this case one which Russia also supported.
so at the next
noon briefing on April 12, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman
Martin Nesirky about the meeting with Ms. Otunbayeva, which (other)
opposition figures the UN met with. Video here,
from Minute 9:50.
singular rather than plural," Nesirky said, "and it was Ms.
Otunbayeva." He alluded to a "half dozen representatives,
mostly journalists, including Ms. Otunbayeva."
what was the
purpose of the meeting? Was Ms. Otunbayeva a journalist?
Nesirky continued, was in other meetings and so asked Mr. Pascoe and
others in the delegation to do the meeting and report back.
else was in
the meeting: now UN envoy Jan Kubis? Inner City Press asked for a
read out on the pre-revolution meeting, but Nesirky declined. "I
don't think that's possible, that goes beyond normal diplomatic
UN's Ban with Bakiyev on April 3- as Pascoe met Ms.
what did the top
political advisor for Mr. Ban -- or should be call him Johnny
Appleseed? -- discuss with Ms. Otunbayeva?
moments later in front of the UN Security Council, Inner City Press
asked this month's Council president Yukio Takasu of Japan about the
call by Bakiyev for the UN to send peacekeepers to Kyrgyzstan. Video here,
from Minute 4:07.
said he and Council member are "obviously aware of the report"
but the Council and S-G have not received "official
notification." Could it be a bit difficult to send an official
letter from Kyrgyzstan right now? Watch this site.
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