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March 1, 2011: Libya

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On Syria, Brazil Denies Claim Its Vote Determined by Russia's, Draft To Get Weaker?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 6 -- In the wake of the defeat of the European draft Syria resolution in the UN Security Council on October 4, a blame and shame game has begun.

  A self-described senior Western diplomat tells the Press that there were "signals" that Brazil and even India and South Africa (together, "IBSA") would vote yes on the resolution if Russia abstained. But when Russia cast a veto, joined in this by China, not only Lebanon but all three IBSA countries abstained.

  Inner City Press asked Brazil's Permanent Representative Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti about what the senior Western diplomat had said.

   She disagreed, saying while Brazil coordinated with its IBSA partners India and South Africa, it is proud of its independent foreign policy, which is not "made in Moscow."

  Another Permanent Representative said that the Europeans had misread the situation and statements of IBSA and China and Russia, from which it was understood as much as two days before the vote that two vetoes were inevitable.

A well placed diplomat from one of the Council members not voting yes laughed to Inner City Press that the Europeans made a serious error watering down the draft so much before it was voted down.

  "Now if they come back, this weak draft will be the starting place and it can only get weaker," the diplomat said with the smile.

  In this context, the responsibility also lies with the European, particularly those which actively went beyond Libya Resolution 1973 by air-dropping in weapons despite the arms embargo for example, and those who did nothing to stop these violations.

Amb of Brazil, India in front, Churkin behind, misread by West

Despite protestations, including US Ambassador Susan Rice's statement that "this is not about Libya," multiple interviews with IBSA representatives leads to the conclusion that it is, in significant part, "about Libya" and the way Resolution 1973 was implemented. This will continue to reverberate.

 A well placed Permanent Representative scoffed to Inner City Press about other media spreading "rumors" such as that "Vitaly [Churkin] is a nice guy and wouldn't have vetoed, but Moscow order it" -- duh -- and that "Mark [Lyall Grant] walked out like Susan did - the rest of his delegation remained, so that was no walk out." And so it goes at the UN.

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Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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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