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On Syria, Portugal Says ICC Cited in Meeting by Delegation, Another Dismissive

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 12 -- The was a meeting on Syria of UN Security Council diplomats on Friday morning, but it was low profile and many of the Council member's Permanent Representatives either didn't come or left early. As Inner City reported, the sign outside North Lawn Conference Room 6 referred only to a closed Arria formula meeting; no mention of Syria.

   Afterward Inner City Press asked Permanent Representative Cabral of Portugal, which organized the Arria formula meeting, "What happened in there?"

  Speaking exclusively to Inner City Press, Cabral replied that, "They brought to us the full horror of the situation. There was avery good phrase by Professor [Paulo] Pinheiro, that civil war breeds violence and ruthlessness and lack of rule of law. I find it very credible. They did try to do an honest job in the midst of a difficult circumstance. They have a balanced approach and I think an impartial one."

  Cabral paused. "Now, what do we do? In terms of human rights and ensuring accountability, and a way out of conflict [which will be] only a political one. As Professor Pinheiro said, increasing the military capacity of the opposition and government would only lead to more suffering. So, we must support Brahimi, we must create conditions for a peaceful negotiation."

  Inner City Press asked Cabral if the International Criminal Court had come up. Cabral nodded and said, "there were references from some delegations."

  The briefers, Inner City Press reported just after the meeting began included Assistant Secretary General Ivan Simonovic and two members of the Human Rights Council panel on Syria, not only the above (or Cabral) mentioned chairman Paulo Pinheiro but also member Karen AbuZayd.

  Cabral replied, "They did mention the ICC -- saying the responsibility is for the [Security] Council."

  Another delegation that DID speak to Inner City Press after the meeting snarked that "those who talk then most about this didn't even stay."

  Inner City Press asked and was told that Pinheiro and Abu-Zaid would hold a briefing for the press on Tuesday, October 16. Apparently they'll be in New York over the weekend until then. Why didn't or don't they speak publicly on Friday after the meeting? Watch this site.

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