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After US Bombing in Afghanistan,  At UN Russia Puts Out Draft Condemnation

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 -- Russia has introduced a draft press statement for the Security Council to "deplore" the August 22 bombing of civilians in Afghanistan by the U.S.-led  Operation Enduring Freedom. Inner City Press has obtained the draft and puts it online here.

   Prior to the conflict in Georgia and South Ossetia, there had been numerous other "collateral damage" incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq, but Russia did not put forward in the Security Council documents which would condemn them.  But as Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the Press last week, when asked about Russia's previous acceptance of reference to Georgia's territorial integrity in Security Council resolutions, "That was then, this is now."

  So too with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's decision to now recognize the declarations of independence of South Ossetia and Georgia. President George W. Bush urged Medvedev not to recognize the declarations. As many have pointed out, the U.S. was urged by Serbia nad Russia not to recognize Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence earlier this year. What was that again, about Kosovo not being a precedent?

Russia's Churkin and US' Khalilzad -- that was then

  The Russian draft statement on Afghanistan, attached, is indicative of the new mood in the Security Council, the heightened tension between Russia and the U.S. (and secondarily with France and the UK). Good luck on Iran sanctions, one wag at the Council stakeout said.  But now a wider range of issues on the Council's agenda may be impacted.

  The draft "underlines the need for the OEF coalition, the [ISAF] as well as all parties in Afghanistan to comply fully with their obligations... killing and maiming of civilians is a flagrant violation."

Watch this site. And this (on South Ossetia), this, on Russia-Georgia, and this --


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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

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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