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After Israeli Strike, Syria Says No Meeting Requested, Media Reports False

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 -- What is and will be Syria's reaction to Israel's January 30 airstrike? On the morning of January 31 Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar Ja'afari came to the Security Council which was holding a closed meeting on the past month's work.

  Ja'afari told Inner City Press his government had filed "identical letters" with the Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, click here to view, but that the letter(s) did not ask for a Security Council meeting.

  At noon in the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, after a briefing by Ban's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey that a back-row observer called "comical," video here, outgoing Security Council president Masood Khan of Pakistan said that Syria's letter, still being translated, did not ask for a Council meeting.

  Nevertheless, some media reported that it did, even at least one present for the first if not second of the UN's noon-time briefings: "Syria calls on UN to hold a Security Council meeting." One wonders, where did that call take place? Not by Syria at the UN.

  Seven hours later at Pakistan's End of Presidency reception, Ja'afari told Inner City Press more about the letter. (Inner City Press has uploaded a photo of the letter, in Arabic, here.)

  By not calling for a meeting but rather that the Council shoulder its responsibilities, Ja'afari said, and address the tensions, a military response could be expected.

  Amid the reception's three speeches, a Council diplomat elbowed Inner City Press and said, Look around the room, where is Ja'afari, it could be a long month for South Korea.

  The Republic of Korea had that afternoon moved equipment and even a tea maker into the Security Council suite. And now their month begins. Watch this site.

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