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Amid Syria Envoy Lull, Ban "Desperate To Be Relevant," So Wants New Annan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 13 -- With Kofi Annan formally ending work on Syria at the end of the month, but already hardly speaking now, who wants there to be a replacement envoy?

  The Arab League "postponed" its August 12 meeting on the topic. At the UN on August 13, Inner City Press witnessed a three-person Syrian delegation led by Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari coming out of a meeting with, it is understood, top UN political official Jeffrey Feltman.

  While the UN refused to answer Inner City Press' question on August 10 about the Syrians' meeting that day with Feltman, other sources tell Inner City Press that Monday's topic is the follow-on political mission that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wants to see.

  The idea, these sources say, is that Ban is desperate to keep his hand in on Syria. "Otherwise Ban might end up like that Canadian general," one of them exclusively told Inner City Press, referring to General Romeo Dallaire who after leaving Rwanda was haunted by it years later.

  Ban, the well placed source diagnosed to Inner City Press, "is desparate to be relevant" on Syria.

   It was confirmed to Inner City Press what it reported last week, that beyond Martti Ahtisaari and others, Gro Harlem Brundtland, now 72, and Sadako Ogata were considered, along with Javier Solana. "But who," the source asked rhetorically, "would want this job, if they had any future at all?"

Here is what Inner City Press asked Ban's Deputy Spokesman on Friday, August 10:

Inner City Press: I was just in the North Lawn and I was told that Mr. Jeffrey Feltman of DPA [Department of Political Affairs] is meeting…I saw Bashar Ja’afari go in. I’m told that the topic is Mr. Brahimi. So my question to you is: because Martin was willing to say that there are consultations with the permanent members of the Security Council about such an appointment, is Syria and its permanent representative, will they be conferred with prior to an announcement, whoever the name is?

Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey: I will have to check on that. I don’t know exactly who the consultation list is comprised of.

But more than three days later, no answer, and no envoy. Watch this site.

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