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Complaining of Hollande, SNC on Diplomatic Mission in France, MNLA Next?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 22 -- The Syria Coalition's representative in France Munther Makhous has today complained about Francois Hollande, as so many in France do:

"The French president pledged that he would give the Paris office of the Syrian Coalition all the legal powers necessary to operate as an official Syrian Embassy in the future, but designated no official target date for it to be done. Hollande also told us that he hoped that all the legal and political powers enjoyed by an embassy would be granted to the Syrian Coalition which has already been recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. However, the granting of legal powers to the Syrian Coalition needs to be approved by the UN Security Council."

   This last is unclear -- France certainly didn't get a Security Council vote to host an event in the UN last September at which it declared Ahmad Jarba the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

  But some wonder, if France is handing out "diplomatic mission" status, why not to the MNLA? Click here for that.

   Back on May 14 when the Syrian Coalition's Special Representative to the UN, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, held a press conference in New York, Inner City Press asked him of the significance of the Obama administration designating the Coalition as a “foreign mission,” and of responses to the Coalition's requests for weapons. Video here.

  Ghadbian called US “foreign mission” status symbolic and political as well as legal. He said the Coalition would like to take over Syrian embassies and consulates, and to get Syria's seat at the League of Arab States which it had in one Summit but not since.

  On weapons Ghadbian called the Coalition's meetings in Washington with members of both houses of Congress, from both parties, productive, and said they'd like a pilot program like the TOW missiles. Video here. This may cause some response.

  Inner City Press also asked about the pending France-US draft Security Council resolution to refer some parts of the conflicts in Syria to the International Criminal Court. Ghadbian acknowledged that some -- he mentioned African countries -- don't like the ICC but said, these are the international institutions.

  He predicted that Russia, but perhaps not China, will veto any ICC referral. Human Rights Watch did not appear, as advertised, at the press conference; Ghadbian apologized, and thanked his staff. He said he will be back soon to talk about starvation. Watch this site.


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