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Brahimi Nears NY, Grumbles from German +1, Nobel Follies, P5 Working Lunch?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 22 -- As the UN's first envoy to Syria Kofi Annan quietly starts his final lame duck week in the post, his replacement Lakhdar Brahimi is slated to arrive in New York tomorrow.

  A Permanent Five member of the Security Council told Inner City Press to expect Brahimi to attend a working lunch with, who else, the Permanent Five members.

   The other non P5 Council members are said not to be happy. When Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin on August 16 announced a meeting the next day of the P5 and some non-Council members, Germany is said have requested that if the meeting took place -- Germany would not be included -- they quickly report back to the full Security Council.

  Ultimately that meeting didn't take place; sources say that the US and United Kingdom were the most adamant about not attending, Turkey less so.

  But what will Brahimi say? He seems to have made peace with Damascus, after being criticized for calling the situation a civil war in one of his many interviews.

   Wednesday morning in front of the Security Council when Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari was asked about the comment, he said "it's the media, he was misinterpreted." If you say so.

   Another mis-statement, or mis-report ("it is the media") has yet to be corrected. Brahimi was deemed by a wire service to be a "Nobel Peace laureate." The Nobel Foundation has written to Inner City Press that Brahimi should not thusly be referred to.

  There has been no retraction. One of the other media that ran the erroneous report has written back:

"Your complaint has been noted, and will be forwarded to the relevant department for their consideration. We thank you for making use of our services."

  It's not a "complaint" -- it's that the published report that Brahimi is a "Nobel Peace laureate" has been disavowed by the Nobel Foundation itself. The media, which we'll hold off on naming, has been asked to say what is ultimately done. Watch this site.

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