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On Syria, China Tells ICP of "Showdown," Rice Unsure if Annan Continues

By Matthew Russell Lee, Partial exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 -- The US does not support any "technical rollover" for 45 days of the UN Mission in Syria, as proposed in a Pakistani draft resolution, and Russia opposes any "ideological" conditions attached to extending the UNSMIS mission for 30 days, as proposed Thursday morning by the UK.

  Inner City Press asked China's Permanent Represntative Li Baodong late Thursday, thirty or forty five days?

  "Showdown," Li Baodong exclusively told Inner City Press.

  Inner City Press asked Pakistan's Deputy Permanent Representative if his draft has the nine required votes.

  "Just trying to help," he exclusively told Inner City Press.

  When US Permanent Representative Susan Rice emerged, she said as President Barack Obama's spokesman Jay Carney had on Air Force One that the US does not support any technical rollover of the mission.

  On Air Force One, Carney was asked, did the Annan plan fail? Carney replied, "It has failed thus far, yes. And the failure of the Security Council to support this resolution means that it can't go forward."

  So Inner City Press asked Ambassador Rice, does Kofi Annan's mission continue?

  "Good question," Ambassador Rice replied.
 Later another Security Council source present in the consultations told Inner City Press that when Ambassador Rice was asked if the US wants to keep the mission in Syria, she said no.

   Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin was the most detailed, on this and other matters. "It was a funny discussion," he began. "They keep coming back to their ideological position. There is a good Pakistan text that I know I am going to support."

Referring to the UK draft and its supporters, Churkin said "our colleagues want to replay individual elements from the Kofi Annan plan. It's too late in the day to do it."

Churkin was asked, so UNSMIS will be withdrawn? He said, "If there are not nine votes on one of the drafts, then I suppose so." He returned to say, "some colleagues were saying they want them to withdraw, [as] too dangerous... but they are prepared to vote for the UK draft. It is confusing. I told them, put down a text that you want them to withdraw."

French Ambassador Gerard Araud said "we will vote at 10 am on our text," meaning the UK draft. Churkin says he opposes it, and China says showdown. If either vetoes, the Pakistani draft could be voted on. Would the US or others veto that? Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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