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On Syria, As Russia's Meeting Postponed, Brahimi To Play Lotto for Nobel Prize?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 16 -- Only yesterday, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin invited the Action Group on Syria to a meeting today at 11. French Ambassador Gerard Araud said of course he accepts invitations.

  But now, the meeting is postponed indefinitely.  Why?

  Sources tell Inner City Press that as the meeting approached, the only confirmed attendees between Russia were China's Deputy Permanent Representative Wang and "the UN," presumably Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.

  That the US wouldn't come is not surprising. But France? After that Araud said, on camera?

  Sources also say that Iraq was of a mind to come. But Qatar? No way.

  If Russia had called a Security Council meeting, not only would many of the non-Permanent members have WANTED to come -- all members would have been expected to attend, that is how the Security Council works.

  But choosing this non-Security Council format, with the non-Council members including not only Qatar but Turkey and Kuwait, it now appears to be a set-up for failure, or at least non-attendance.

  And what of Lakhdar Brahimi? Last night Inner City Press published a piece about his options, here.

  Today a well placed cynic reacted, asking Inner City Press, why WOULDN'T Brahimi take the job? The expectations are low, but if somehow something happens, he could get the Nobel Peace Prize.

So it's like the lottery, Inner City Press proposed.

No, said the source, "you have to pay for a lottery ticket. Here, Brahimi doesn't have to pay -- he GETS paid, a good salary. He has to move to New York from Paris, true, which is a shame in a way since so many of the Syrian opposition are there. But it's a small price to pay."

So this Syria envoy job has become a modified lottery ticket to see if one wins a Nobel Peace Prize. Get in line! Watch this site.

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