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On Yemen, ICP Asks King Salman Center If Any Critique of Coalition, Sudan Troops

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 26 -- At the UN, money talks, sometimes on very little notice. A 4 pm press conference by Saudi Arabia's “Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Adviser at the Royal Court, and General Supervisory of King Salman's Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid,” was announced only that afternoon.

When Inner City Press arrived, present were not only Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the UN but also the UN OCHA Relief Chief, Stephen O'Brien. He was not listed on the program, but the goal of the press conference seemed to be to normalize the abnormal relation between the Saudi King's Center and the UN.

  The first question went to the UN Correspondents Association, which did not ask about this; the second went to Saudi television. Then Inner City Press asked  Abdullah Al Rabeeah, who has called the Center “impartial,” if he would acknowledge any impairment or delay to aid by the Saudi-led coalition, including at the ports. He did not acknowledge it. Tweeted photo here.

  Inner City Press asked O'Brien if the UN taking money, under MOU conditions, from countries that are launching airstrikes on another is a new trend. Video here. No, O'Brien insisted, is it merely shifting with the times. Indeed. Does USG O'Brien make appearances at UN press conference like this with other donors?

  While the Saudi Ambassador said he was moderator and there not to answer questions, to his credit he did respond to Inner City Press' question about the Coalition's use of troops from Sudan, officials from which have been indicted by the ICC for genocide and war crimes. Are the troops vetted? He said they are expected to comply with international law. Afterward he said he had expected such a curve ball from Inner City Press (which, continuing the analogy, opined he had managed a sacrifice fly.)

  But where this all headed?
Watch this site.


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