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At UN, Israel's Reuben Trashes Ging on Gaza, Questions Erdogan Connections, Flotilla Report Delayed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 10 -- Israel's current lead Ambassador to the UN didn't mince his words on December 9, about reports on the flotilla incident, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UNRWA's John Ging.

  Inner City Press, introduced as such, asked Meron Reuben about what a Turkish diplomat had said earlier in the day, the Israel might turn in its report on the flotilla “in Hebrew, so the UN would have to translate it.”

  Reuben scoffed and said it will be submitted in English and it will be a “proper report. We could have done a trumped up report but instead did a proper one. Our government won't come out smelling like a rose, I can promise you that.”

  He acknowledged that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's panel, including former Colombian president Uribe, canceled its December meeting to wait for Israel's report, which he said will be submitted in 2011, “not at the very beginning of the year.”

After a pause, Reuben said “It would be interesting to see how connected Erdowan is to militant organizations connected to Al Qaeda.”

Meron Reuben in UNSC, good cop not shown

  Earlier in the week at the US Mission to the UN, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley was asked about Erodogan's threat to sue the US diplomats who repeated unnamed sources allegations that Erdogan has secret bank accounts in Switzerland. As with most things WikiLeaked, Crowley declined to response in any detail.

  Iner City Press asked Reuben about UNRWA's John Ging, who when Inner City Press asked last week about shutdowns of the Gaza power plant called it an “intra-Palestinian” matter about payment, and not any fuel blockade by Israel.

  Israel was “not impressed” by Ging's report, Reuben said. Sources tell Inner City Press that Reuben has yet to present his credentials to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, being something of a recess appointment. How long will the recess continue? Watch this site.

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Wikileaks Buzz from Turkey to UN, But Ban Quiet with Clinton, Assange as Terrorist?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 1 -- As the new Wikileaks of US State Department cables were the buzz at the UN on Wednesday, from Sri Lanka war crimes to Russia's “Mafia state,” the UN Secretariat did all it could to dodge questions about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's directive that the UN and its officials be spied on.

But at a Turkish Mission reception on Wednesday evening, a European Ambassador told Inner City Press that the leaks were going to cause trouble within countries all over the world. “Why did the US distribute these cables so widely?” he asked. “When I have information, I write only to my minister and his chief of staff, no one else.”

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to sue the American diplomats who cabled home that Erdogan has secret bank accounts in Switzerland. But well placed sources tell Inner City Press that the origin of the Swiss bank detail is the “Turkish minister who covers the European Union process.”

  So maybe the lawsuit, if there is one, should be filed in Turkey itself.

  After Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Clinton in Astana, the UN said only that “they discussed... the complications caused by the recent massive leak of US diplomatic cables.”

  Inner City Press asked the UN's Counter-Terrorism Executive Director Mike Smith about calls to designate Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange as part of a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” Video here, from Minute 17:40.

Erdogan & Kerim, once & future UN? Inner City Press scoop here

  Smith said he would “leave it up to the countries that are talking about that to work it out through these systems, I'm not going to comment on that.” Of course, it is within Smith's and the UN's stated job to speak on the misuse of terrorism laws and designations.

Footnote: beyond Ban Ki-moon's meeting with Hillary Clinton, the UN on Wednesday afternoon confirmed to Inner City Press what it had asked about Ban's meeting with South Korea's foreign minister. Yes they met, including about two conferences in Seoul. But there was apparently no meeting with Ukraine's president, despite Ukrainian press reports that there would be.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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

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