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On Syria, UN's Amos Says Met Jarba's SNC, Won't Answer on Nusra or ISIS

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 25 -- On Syria, whom does the UN speak with and why will the UN list some but not all of the groups?

After UN Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos briefed the UN Security Council Friday morning, she told the Press she met with the Syrian National Coalition (which is headed by Ahmad al Jarba) in New York.

Inner City Press asked Amos if the UN has any contacts with Jabhat al Nusra or ISIS in Syria, since they control territory which the UN is supposed to be trying to access with aid. Video here, Minute 4.

Amos replied, I am not going to comment on specific contacts.

Inner City Press reminded her she had just named the SNC, the Syrian National Coalition.

Amos noted that she'd met the SNC "in New York" but would not list contacts in Syria. Why not?

This approach, naming the SNC as a legitimate contact, is in line with the attempt of France (which sponsored a Jarba event inside the UN in September) and others to name the Saudi-sponsored Jarba as the sole or most legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

(Likewise the UN let is UN Censorship Alliance hold a faux "UN briefing" by Jarba in the large UN room given to UNCA, then wouldn't expain the basis when asked by the Free UN Coalition for Access.)

  Inner City Press went to Friday's UN Noon Briefing and asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if the UN has any contacts with ISIS or Al Nusra, and what the UN's policy is on naming the groups it speaks with.

Nesirky said since Valerie Amos wouldn't answer or be drawn in, he wouldn't either. But shouldn't the UN have a policy? If you name one group, you should name others. Or name no groups. But be consist.

Inner City Press also asked in person a question it posed to Nesirky and his acting deputy by e-mail two days before, "about the UN's Syria chemical weapons Trust Fund. Just now at the US State Department briefing deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said the US has given 'nearly' $6 million to 'UN and OCPW.' So what is the status of the UN Trust Fund? How and when (and where) will disclosure be made?"

Nesirky said he had looked into it. (Why no answer was e-mailed or at least read-out at the briefing is not clear.) He said the UN has received a PLEDGE from the US for $2 million, as well as vehicles (valued by the US as $1.55 million).

So when was the US going to answer? When is it going to report, and where? Watch this site.


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