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At UN, Syria Vote Slated for Tuesday, China Dubious of Sanctions, Palestine on Friday, Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 3 -- Proponents of sanctions on Syria have scheduled a vote on their draft resolution for October 4 at 5 pm, Inner City Press has learned.

  In front of the Security Council throughout Monday, Ambassadors passed to meet with this month's Nigerian president, Joy Ogwu. Inner City Press asked them about Syria, on which French Ambassador Gerard Araud said the draft sanctions resolution would be put to a vote on September 30 - false - or Monday.

  Monday morning, German Ambassador Peter Wittig told Inner City Press "there are more consultations" but to expect a vote "sooner rather than later."

   Monday afternoon, UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told Inner City Press that "consultations continue," while graciously answering a question about the October 6 Council session on Sudan.

  Moments later, Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong was more candid, telling Inner City Press that a vote on Syria has been called for 5 pm on Tuesday. He said that for China, any inclusion of a reference to sanctions in 15 or 30 days is very difficult.

  Other Permanent Representatives then confirmed this 5 pm Friday timing. Why were the proponents less candid?

Li Baodong with Churkin and Osorio, Ja'afari of Syria in back

  On Sudan, following Khartoum's violation of its agreement to pull its troops out of Abyei on September 30, the matter will be taken up on October 6. Lyall Grant said that Khartoum is now imposing new conditions, such as the full deployment of the UNISFA mission, which is not possible he said until the end of November.

On Palestine, those who wish to slow or block UN membership said that the Committee on Admission of New Members will merely update President Ogwu in two weeks.

  Palestinian membership supporters said that Ogwu must update the Council in two weeks. In any evert, Inner City Press has learned that the first meeting of the Committee at the Experts' level is Friday. And so it goes at the UN.

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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

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