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Palestine in Front Row, Arms Trade Talks Continue, Mexico Wants to Regulate Illicit

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 5 -- With the question of Palestine resolved in its fashion with a seat in the front row but no upgrade in status, the Arms Trade Treaty talks continued on Friday morning.

  In the half light of Conference Room 4, some complained that negotiations were going all the way back to zero. Then Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago started making proposal, followed by the US and finally even Egypt, at least promised, by e-mail.

  Mexico wants the purpose to be "to regulate the international transfer of arms," not just to "seek to regulate." Their goal is to stop the flow into illicit use. The US shares the latter, plus the more grandiose international peace and security which is the trigger for Security Council action.

  A Palestinian representative complained to Inner City Press that even after they won their front row seat, some in Israel's delegation sat in front to the side, "thuggish."

Meanwhile NGOs predicted to Inner City Press that Syria will ultimate raise the question of Palestine again, since the front row seat is just a "gentleman's agree." Iran said it welcomed Palestine participating as a full party, which is not the case. But in the UN, anything can be said. But on regulating arms transfers, what will be DONE? Watch this site.

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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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