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Posted on on August 3rd, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

The facts are that the experience with the Libyan resolution is handicapping the procedure to come up with a Syrian resolution at the Security Council. Russia and China do not want to see another UN involvement and the IBSA effort turned just into an Indian effort – it is their presidency month – so they want to see a resolution.

Looking at the situation from Tel Aviv, thinking of September when the Palestinian topic comes up as well and the chances of having Syria still in the hopper – I hear more and more suggestions that an Intifada III with involvement of all other non-State factions – while in Israel there are  still many reasons for social discontent, might lead to unprogramed events.

Looking at Libya – “The fact of the matter is we are not able to get a ceasefire say the Indians. There are some attempts, and very useful attempts, by the African Union, through the AU roadmap. There are efforts being made by the special representative of the Secretary General. But I cannot say with any certainty that we are looking at a ceasefire in the immediate future. As events are unfolding, the Council’s attention is on other areas. But in Libya, the situation continues to be deeply worrying. And I would encourage all those who have a role to play to find a way to get the ball rolling.”

Inner City Press asked about the fight about if and how to condemn, and where in the test to place reference to, violence against Assad’s security forces.

Ambassador Puri replied, “It’s like this: this is standard in a negotiations. When you’ve got square brackets around something, they always add one or two extra to have negotiating chips.”

Given that Lebanon blocked the first attempt at a Council statement on Syria, Inner City Press asked about Ambassador Puri’s floated idea of a “decision” not subject to such blockage.

Ambassador Puri said, “I continue to remain confident that this is doable.”


At UN in Run-Up to Meeting on Syria, Brazil Says Could Agree to Presidential Statement at the Security Council.

IBSA is on the Road to Damascus to look for form or elements – Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice about the IBSA trip, did she think it might be positive. “I don’t even want to characterize the trip. Our business here is to speak strongly on behalf of the Council. The Assad government is prepared to use extraordinary violence against civilians.” (August 2, 2011)

From: Matthew Russell Lee of the Inner City Press at the UN in New York.

UNITED NATIONS, August 1 — With deaths in Syria mounting, on July 31 outgoing UN Security Council president Germany asked its successor for August, India, to convene an emergency for August 1 on Syria. At 9 am on Monday, a spokesman of the German Mission to the UN told the press that the request was granted, and the meeting would be at 5 pm.

In front of the Security Council on Monday morning, Inner City Press asked Brazilian Permanent Representative Maria Viotti what Brazil expected from the 5 pm meeting. After meeting with the Indian presidency she said Brazil could agree to a Press Statement or Presidential Statement on Syria, but not a resolution.

She told the Press, “We would be able to go along with a press statement, even with a PRST, I think that we would support that… Not a resolution, but a PRST or a press statement.”

Inner City Press has exclusively reported that Brazil, India and South Africa say their deputy ministers will travel to Damascus soon — “in the coming days,” Viotti said Monday — to “engage” with the Assad resolution. Western members of the Security Council have been dismissive of this trip.

When France’s Deputy Permanent Representative exited the Security Council after meeting with the Indian presidency, Inner City Press asked him if France had joined in Germany’s request for the meeting — “yes” was the answer — and told him what Viotti had said.

“That’s news to me,” he said. So news it is.

Footnote: Given the position Lebanon is in, it remains more than possible that it would block any press or presidential statement of the Council, which requires unanimity. Or, Lebanon could “disassociate” itself. We’ll see.

Update of 11:24 am — the Portuguese, when they emerged, said that for a Presidential or Press Statement, Lebanon could be a problem. But they pointed to a precedent from the 1956 Suez crisis, a statement can be adopted without all members present.

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