on Libya, Clash on Arming Rebels, Dutch
In, Malta Stopped
Russell Lee, Exclusive
March 29 -- Libya
sanctions and arms embargo were the topics
on Tuesday morning outside the Security Council, even as the meeting
inside concerned Lebanon. The Netherlands has formally written in
under Resolution 1973 to join the coalition, a well placed Council
source exclusively told Inner City Press.
Malta's query to the Libya Sanctions Committee was finally gleaned,
as another Inner City Press exclusive: Malta stopped a Greek ship
from delivering petroleum products to a subsidiary of the Libyan
national oil company.
not on the UN sanctions list. But it is on the European Union list.
Malta 1, Greek ship 0.
not so clear. Inner City Press asked India's Permanent Representative
Hardeep Singh Puri for India's position on if arming the Libyan
rebels is permitted. No, he said, adding, and you can quote me.
Press asked Russian Permanent Representitive Vitaly Churkin, is arming
the rebels permissible under Resolution 1973? No, he said, shaking his
head. He noted that it had been the Americans themselves who asked for
the arms embargo.
was gleaned from US Permanent Representative Susan Rice despite a
question proffered at 10:16 am as she entered the Council and 11:10 am
when she left, it is
understood that the US dispute an account of the negotiation of
Paragraph 4 of Resolution 1973 in which Ambassador Rice said that the
“notwithstanding” phrase was needed in case the US had to go in
with weapons to save a downed pilot.
Susan Rice, Obama and Clinton, negotiation of
Paragraph 4 and new position not shown
US, it is
understood, says that referred to only precluding an occupation and
not an intervention. But with Libyan Sanctions Committee chair Cabral
now twice issuing an interpretation that arming the rebels is not
permissible, Russia and India on the record and others with the same
view, including China Inner City Press can report, could
the US “just do it,” in the Nike phrase?
the “Coalition” tells Inner City Press that while the
“notwithstanding” phrase is somehow clear, his country believes
that enforcing the no fly zone is the way to go.
fly zone weren't being enforced, perhaps giving air defense equipment
to the rebels could construed as protecting civilians. But to give
offensive weapons? Even the non-US coalition member said no.
the US “just do it,” in the Nike phrase?
President Obama's visit today to the UN, or the US Mission across
First Avenue from the UN, press access has been limited to a “pool”
from the White House press corps, as well as Mission selected
journalists from the UN press corps.
There's some grumbling, the
substance of which is that a White House based reporter might miss
some UN relevant details, including regarding which diplomats are
invited. We'll have more on this.
* * *
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.
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