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UN Won't Say If Saudi Rebuffed Brahimi, Al Arabiya Puts Assad in Maliki's Mouth

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 1 -- The UN's envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi was asked, "after Saudi Arabia refused to receive you;" he called it a speech, not a question," but did not confirm or deny that the Saudis declined to receive him.

So Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky on November 1 to confirm or deny (video here and embedded below)

Inner City Press: one of the questions that Mr. Brahimi was asked in his press conference in Damascus was about Saudi Arabia refusing his request to visit. And he said it was a speech and not a question, but as I read it, I didnít see him say yes or no. Can you say whether he asked to visit Saudi Arabia and whether this request was denied, as the question has it?

Spokesperson: Well, with the greatest respect, Matthew, if Mr. Brahimi didnít answer the question, I donít think youíd expect that I would.

Inner City Press: It seems importantÖ

  Particularly since Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised Saudi Arabia so effusively after they said they wouldn't be taking the Security Council seat they without competition won.

  In other transcript games, when Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki spoke to the media with US President Obama, the White House's foreign pool report by Nadia Bilbassy-charters of Al-Arabiya said that Maliki "denounced the use of chemical weapons that were used both in Iraq under Saddam Hussain and in Syria by President Assad."

  The last part of this seemed dubious. And lo and behold, when the transcript came out, Maliki actually said we "want to avoid the use of chemical weapons, because we and the Syrians suffered a lot from these weapons." That is, not that Assad had used them.

  On the allegation that it was the opposition that used chemical weapons, for example in Khan al Asal, the UN as Inner City Press gleaned and screened yesterday the UN has pushed back its report from late October a full month to early December. The UN still hasn't explained why. Watch this site.


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