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Ban Gives Syria Post to Mistura, Mubarak Ambassador as Deputy

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 -- To replace Lakhdar Brahimi as envoy on Syria, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on July 10 named Staffan de Mistura. Ban said this was his choice, whereas he took the nomination of the Arab League for Mistura's deputy: Ramzy Ezzeldine Ramzy, a former ambassador for Mubarak.

  After the announcement, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric chose two questions, both Gulf-related, then let the head of the UN Correspondents Association Pamela Falk from CBS get in a third and final question, whether Ban will "travel to the region."

   Ban was not asked if he had conferred with Iran, for example. After the questions, Dujarric's office still did not have a bio for Ramzy. On July 9, even the transcript put out by Dujarric's office was doctored, to censor mention of the Free UN Coalition for Access, see story here, video here.

  As to Mistura, as others don't report, he has a history with the Ban family.

As Inner City Press reported, triggering much push-back, while envoy in Iraq Mistura hired Ban Ki-moon's son-in-law Siddharth Chatterjee. After this, Mistura was named envoy to Afghanistan.

   Inner City Press asked Mistura in that capacity repeatedly about UN inaction on the murder of UN security officer Louis Maxwell by Afghan national forces, with no result. The questions, as is increasingly the trend under Ban Ki-moon on topics ranging from Haiti cholera to Sri Lanka and flying genocidaires, was stonewalled.

   Chatterjee, as Inner City Press also reported, has become UNFPA's representative in Kenya.

Now Mistura, after a stint in an Italian government, one of many, is also set to return. He's been said interested in replacing Ban, as has another candidate, Kevin Rudd. Call it the Syria sweepstakes.

Earlier in the process to replace Brahimi, Inner City Press reported from multiple sources the consideration of Tunisia's former (Ben Ali and nepotism-era) foreign minister Morjane. But even for Ban Ki-moon, the contradiction of such an appointment with the “Arab Spring” was too much. Other types of relationships and echoes are deemed more acceptable.

Ban met with Syria's Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari at 10:55 am on July 9. Watch this site.


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