As UN Council Punts Until Thursday, Mystery of Courtesy
Passes, Lamamra, Spain & Norway
March 22 -- With bombs, and at least one US plane, dropping
on Libya, the UN Security Council on Monday declined to “take
cognizance” of a letter from Gaddafi's foreign minister Moussa
Koussa, putting off the matter until a briefing by Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon in three days.
is supposed to
be coordinating enforcement of the No Fly Zone provided by Council
resolution 1973. At the UN's noon briefing on Monday, Inner City
Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to describe the
coordination he is giving.
that he attended Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting in Paris on March 19, and
is taking in notifications of the countries doing the bombing and
transmitting these to the Security Council.
Spokesperson's Office squawked that seven countries had thus far
provided notice: the US, UK, France, Denmark, Canada, Italy and a
single Arab country, Qatar.
of the list seems to have omissions, like Norway and Spain which is
providing refueling. But what of Jordan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia?
Are the last two too busy in Bahrain?
Security Council kept Moussa Koussa at arms length -- and Russian
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin admonished a Western spokesman for spinning
the press about it, click here for that story -- the Council held a
closed meeting about Sudan.
Press asked Sudan's Ambassador for his country's position
on the action in Libya. We are members of the Arab League, he said,
we support that position.
also a member of the African Union, which has criticized the bombing,
and couldn't even get into the country as provided for in the
resolution? We are a member of both, Sudan's Ambassador said, leaving
the UN microphone.
Dabbashi previously at UN, courtesy pass not shown
the African Union position there is not only the money and support
Gaddafi threw around the Continent for so long -- there is also the
under reported role on the AU Peace & Security Council of Ramtane
Lamamra of Algeria, a country which has strongly supported Gaddafi.
On Monday, Lamamra apparently lost his cell phone, as he didn't
answer repeated media calls seeking his comment or explanation.
UN, for its
part, did not explain the meaning of the “courtesy passes”
spokesman Nesirky said that Ibrahim Dabbashi and Shalgam have been
Press asked a lower ranking Libyan diplomat,
who said “at least they still have passes.” He added that it is
Shalgam who will decide who will speak for Libya on Thursday.
Watch this site.
* * *
on Libya, Churkin of Russia Tells Western Spokesman Not to Spin the
Press, "This Is Where Distortions Come From"
March 21 -- Outside the UN Security Council on Monday
afternoon, a Western Council member's spokesman was telling reporters
that as he had predicted, the Council had declined requests for any
meeting about the military action in Libya
Vitaly Churkin came out of the Council chamber and
apparently heard this. He stopped on the steps up to street level,
turned back and said, “I must say to that young man, the President
of the Council is supposed to brief the media.”
pointed at the
Western spokesman and asked, “You are from which delegation?”
spokesman answered. (Since these spokespeople say they are speaking
on background, for now the answer is being withheld.)
“Double check with your Ambassador. It's really impolite
and rude. It's the President who is supposed to brief the media.”
went upstairs, there was speculation about what had triggered the
confrontation. On March 16, Churkin had complained about being
portrayed as an obstructionist.
Press later on March 16
asked US Ambassador Susan Rice about what Churkin had said about
Russia's ceasefire in Libya proposal. She said the proposal did not
go far enough.
Churkin came back. “Now we know where all the distortions come
suggested to him that the Russian Mission's spokesman should brief
the media more often.
Churkin previously speaks to press, spokesman not shown
seems to be the consensus among most
of the stakeout press corps, others note that some delegation's
spokespeople are more likely that others to tell reporters about
other countries' positions, while demanding off the record treatment.
during the first Council resolution on Libya earlier
this year, when Portugal
was accused off the record of being “weak”
on the referral of the case of Libya to the International Criminal
were urged to “ask Brazil” if they were making problems with the
ICC referral. In fact they were, though not at the spinner had
implied. Rather, Brazil objected to the US demanded
carve out from
the ICC referral for countries that are not members of the ICC: not
only the US, but such countries as Algeria and Ethiopia, which are
not members of the ICC.
“Now we know
where all the distortions come from”? Oh that it were so. Watch