Sanctions Chair Says No Arms to Rebels, US Says It Can as Obama to NY
March 28 -- On the Libya
arms embargo, things get more and
more strange. On Monday Chairman Cabral of the UN Libya Sanctions
Committee stated on camera that there is a full embargo on arms to
Libya, including to the rebels.
he was told,
as Inner City Press and other have been, that the UK is seeking a
legal opinion, Cabral said this was just talk, and reiterated his
reading of the resolution: a full arms embargo. This position has
been echoed to Inner City Press by other Security Council members.
then can not
only Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney on March 25, but also
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on March 27, say that the UN
resolutions have the flexibility to allow for arms transfers to the
at the UN
say that if the George W. Bush administration was making such
comments, there would howling about their contempt for international
law and multi-lateralism. But now very little is being said. Would
this silence continue if the US did in fact more to arm the rebels?
US did not
even raise the issue to debate it in the Sanctions Committee's first
meeting on March 25, Inner City Press is reliably informed.
Susan Rice, Obama and Clinton, negotiation of
Paragraph 4 and new position not shown
March 28 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked
UN spokesman Martin
Nesirky about two of the requests that were discussed in that
meeting, by Belarus and Senegal:
Press: has Kuwait written a letter to the Council under
resolution 1973 (2011)? And also, there are supposedly some notes
verbale that went in and I wanted to know what… if you can confirm
one from Belarus and Senegal, and describe what they concerned.
As you know, when we have had notifications that have gone
through to the Council, then we have been advising you. I don’t
have any update beyond the numbers that the Secretary-General used. And
I know that the question was posed during the briefing on Friday;
we don’t have any further update on notifications since then.
City Press: And do you know, this thing on Ukraine, because you’ve
been the one to announce Ukraine and then take it off, could we, just
for the purposes of transparency, understand why it was on and then
Well, we did go through this a number of times, and I know
it was raised again here on Friday. So, I don’t think we need to…
Press: But we didn’t really get to why did it go on and then
Well, as I mentioned to you before, there are different
kinds of notification under the terms of the resolution. Some are
relating to military action and others not. And so I think it needs
to be seen in that context, as well. And if there are further
updates, then obviously we will make sure that the people have those.
Press: And just also on Libya, on the Envoy, Mr. [Abdul
Khatib, I wanted to know a couple of things. I have been told that
there is an OLA [Office for Legal Affairs] ruling that he cannot
receive funds from Jordan and as a full-time Envoy at the same time. I
wanted you to either confirm or deny that. And also that he has
requested to work out of Amman, and has requested the use of private
As I have said to you, and as Farhan [Haq] said to you on
Friday, there are some details that are still being worked out with
regard to the contract, as Farhan mentioned to you on Friday. I
don’t have anything to add to that at the moment.
Secretariat, ostensibly coordinating the action in Libya, still has
not answered, Inner City Press can now report that another note
verbal was submitted by Malta. We have made inquiries with the
Maltese Mission and will report more on this.
Obama is slated to dedicate the new US Mission to the UN building on
Tuesday afternoon. Some are wondering if, for the photo op, USUN has
invited anti-Gaddafi Libyan diplomats Ibrahim Dabbashi and Shalgam,
who while no longer representing Libya at the UN have been given
courtesy passes by the Ban Ki-moon administration of the UN. Watch
* * *
Libya, US Didn't Raise Arming Rebels in 1st Session on
27 -- Barely an hour after Obama administration
spokesman Jay Carney argued in a Washington press conference that the
resolutions imposing an arms embargo on Libya
have the “flexibility” to allow arming the Benghazi based rebels,
the US took part in the first meeting of the Council's Libya
the closed door
meeting, however, the US did not disclose or argue for the
permissibility of any plans to arm the rebels, the Portuguese
committee chair Jose Filipe Mendes Moraes Cabral on the record and a
range of other participants told Inner City
in the meeting -- not the Chairman or anyone in the
Portuguese Mission -- the US representative asked only to discuss
additions to the sanctions list, and asked that the rules of the
committee be called “provisional,” allowing future changes.
date for a
second meeting of the committee was agreed to, or requested by the
the US knows,
the chairman of the committee has expressed his view that the
wordings of the two resolutions, including a phrase in Paragraph 4 of
Resolution 1973 that seems to create an exception to the arms
embargo, do not permit giving weapons to the rebels.
meeting, other members of the committee including a country with a
population over one billion said it was “absolutely clear” that
the resolutions do not allow for arming the rebels.
source in the
room while Resolution 1973 was being negotiated said that US
Permanent Representative Susan Rice explained that she needed the
“notwithstanding” loophole for a situation in which the US might
have to go in with weapons to save a downed pilot, and wouldn't want
merely carrying weapons to violate the arms embargo.
the US said one
thing at the UN to explain, as quasi legislative history history, an
exception in the arms embargo, and now says another thing from
it's said, will be back at the UN on Monday.)
explained that the sanctions committee could take up the possibility
of arming the rebels. But if the US just did it, the committee would
have to be unanimous to condemn it.
is similar to UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon naming Jordanian businessman and
Senator Al Khatib as the UN's envoy to Libya despite financial
conflicts of interest, then saying that a financial disclosure not
due until March 2012 is the only way and time to address it. Ah, the
rule of law. Watch this site.
the first meeting of the Libya sanctions committee meeting,
there was discussion of a query from Belarus about the scope of the
resolution's asset freeze -- the US proposed a response that the
freeze did NOT apply to the entities Belarus asked about -- and a
recitation of approval given an emergency basis to a request by
Senegal to extract its citizens from Libya on a Gambian plane.
of these make
more clear the lack of transparency of the process. Ukraine wrote it
about extracting its national, and got listed as one of the dozen
supporting the no fly zone. They protested, and were dropped from the
written in, but call it a “note verbal,” and
are not listed. And STILL the UN Spokesperson's office has not
confirmed what Inner City Press reported on March 25, that Kuwait
wrote in to say it will help with humanitarian. Some system.