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On Syria, France Said to Draft Statement, Annan Too Busy To Say Who's Paid

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 19 -- When the UN Security Council reconvened on Monday morning, French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the press that Syria would be discussed after the closed-door session on the Council's "working methods."

  Morocco's Ambassador Loulichki was asked, "What about the resolution?" He turned and asked, "There is a resolution?"

  Later a Council source told Inner City Press, "France will circulate a draft statement," which at least those not in France's inner circle had not yet seen.

  Would it only express support for Kofi Annan's mission or would it address the weekend's bombings in Damascus and Aleppo? The source didn't know. A Western source, closer to France, indicated it would concern the bombings.

  Kofi Annan's mission as Joint Special Envoy of the UN and Arab League is far from transparent. Five times Inner City Press has asked the spokesperson for Annan's wan successor Ban Ki-moon to name or confirm who is on Annan's team, and getting paid by the UN.

  Spokesman Martin Nesirky has repeated that they are too busy to say who they are. Now former UN communications official Ahmad Faqzi has selectively told wire service in Geneva that "there are five people with expertise in political, peacekeeping and mediation."

  Inner City Press has written to a representative at the Kofi Annan Foundation, an official who was on the list provided by the UN to the Syrian Mission of who would go to Damascus, and asked:

Is Mr. Guehenno part of the team?

Did Nasser Al Kidwa seek to go the first time? The second time?

Who has gone on the technical mission which started Sunday?

Which team members are being paid from the $900,000 authorized in the GA resolution? How much?

  These are questions that Annan's mission, fueled with public funds from the UN, should answer. 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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