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Alliance of Civilization Can't Act on Ruin of Syrian Religious Sites Until It's Over

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 14 -- When Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser was President of the General Assembly last year, and Qatar's Ambassador before that, he was strongly and openly critical of Syria's government, overriding General Assembly rules and turning off UNTV cameras.

Now UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has named him UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.

  On Thursday Inner City Press asked Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser about Syria's recent letter to Ban and to the Security Council alleging targeting of mosques, a cathedral and synagogue by the Syrian armed opposition, including the Al Nusra Front. The letter is now S/2013/138.

  What can or will AoC do? Video here, from Minute 25:42.

   Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said the “situation in Syria is very complicated. Our mission, it will come as soon as we end this conflict... we have first to bring the situation under control.”

  But how? Qatar supports the armed opposition. Is the idea that until they win militarily, the Alliance of Civilization will do nothing?

  Inner City Press asked Syrian's Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari about this later on Thursday in front of the Security Council. He re-named the AoC the “Alliance Against Civilization” and recounted how a looted valuable statue was recently sold “in Lebanon for fifty dollars, not even enough for an AK-47.”

  In his AoC press conference Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser did not express hope for a non-military solution. He said, “I don't know how successful the UN through the sub-region or Arab League or Security Council or P5 can do in this moment... It is very difficult today to even help the Syrian from the humanitarian side.”

   He then again said, when the fighting is over, perhaps the AoC can help.

   One wondered the whereabouts of the very able "slayer of Ruperez" -- click here for that Inner City Press story.

    Afterward some wondered if Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser receives a salary from the Alliance of Civilizations, if he need it, or Qatar picks it up. At a recent press conference sponsored by UNCA, known as the UN Censorship Alliance, AoC repeatedly promoted the German car company BMW. Are they paying?

   UNCA at Thursday's press conference made much of getting the first question -- president Pamela Falk of CBS asked about the new Pope, then wanted to get a second question before others even got a first. But Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser's spokeswoman Nihal Saad at least finished a first round before calling again on Falk, to ask again about the Vatican.

   Inner City Press, when called on, spoke for the new Free UN Coalition for Access then asked about the Syrian opposition's alleged destruction of religious sites. This is an issue one might expect an Alliance of Civilizations to work on -- but in what way? On which side? Watch this site.

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