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As UNSC Adopts Statement, Religion Added at Demand of Pakistan

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Follow Up

UNITED NATIONS, September 26, updated -- When Germany circulated a draft Presidential Statement for its September 26 UN Security Council meeting about the Middle East, the fight was thought to be about whether and how to include Palestine in the statement.

  The first draft, which Inner City Press put online, mention Syria but not Palestine. A second draft had language about the Arab Israel issue and the Arab Peace Initiative. Inner City Press asked German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby about this and even on Wednesday morning, neither could say it would be adopted.

  After it was, Security Council sources told Inner City Press that the fight had been about, not surprisingly, denigration of religion. The second draft, with language about the attacks on diplomatic personnel, spoke only about tolerance for cultures.

  But, the sources told Inner City Press, Pakistan wanted a direct reference to religion. The language adopted is as follows:

"The Security Council recalls its press statements of 12 and 14 September regarding recent attacks on diplomatic personnel and premises and reaffirms that such acts are unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed. The Security Council stresses the importance of respect and understanding for religious and cultural diversity throughout the world."*

* - This has been updated after a German mission correction

  Earlier, there was outrage among some in the Security Council at what they said was French Ambassador Gerard Araud's statement, in closed door consultations negotiating the post-Benghazi attack Council Press Statement, that he is proud to be from a country where he can denigrate religion. Inner City Press exclusively reported it, here and here.

 Now as predicted begins the fight back, statement by statement. Watch this site.

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