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On Gaza, Russia Sets UNSC Consultations, Morocco Circulates Statement

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 19 -- After a weekend that saw an emergency UN Security Council meeting not on Gaza but rather, at France's request, on the Democratic Repubulic of the Congo, on Monday morning Moroccan Permanent Representative Loulichki told the press he had circulated a draft press statement about Gaza. If anyone proposes amendments, he said, we will hold consultations.

Less than an hour later Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin told Inner City Press that Russia requested consultations on Gaza generally -- that is, no only on the Morocco proposed draft press statement.

Meanwhile inside the Security Council on Monday morning, in a session on piracy, the lead speaker was not Secretary General Ban Ki-moon but rather his Deputy, Jan Eliasson. Ban is on his way to the region -- the Gaza region, but apparently not Gaza itself.

Before he left, he issued read-outs of telephone calls with Israel's Netanyahu and Egypt's Morsi, but not Mahmoud Abbas. Inner City Press asked why, but got no substantive response.

This seems to be a pattern: Ban on Saturday issued read outs of calls with about the DRC with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and DRC's foreign minister Tshibanda -- but not the DRC's own president Joseph Kabila.

Ban's chief of Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous refused to even respond to Inner City Press' question why; one of his spokesman told UN staff to keep the microphone away from Inner City Press, while another responded on Sunday but not about Ban's calls. What about Ban's trip(s)? Watch this site.

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