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On Syria, Annan Spokesman Tells ICP Mood Is Out of Game, Colonel In

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 14 -- After the UN Security Council authorized an advance team of observers for Syria in a rare Saturday meeting, Inner City Press asked Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin about envoy Kofi Annan's General Robert Mood, who reportedly left Damascus while the Syrian foreign minister and first deputy were briefly away.

  Churkin said this happened and, stranger still, when a Russian diplomat inquired at Kofi Annan's office in Geneva when Mood would return to Syria, he was told that Mood's return "should not be anticipated." Churkin went on to say that professionalism is required and that "there are other people."

  Inner City Press immediately wrote to Kofi Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi to ask "Why did Mood leave when he did, and more importantly, why has he not gone back since? Is he going back? When? Is he going to be replaced?"

  Now, this answer has been received from Fawzi:

From: Ahmad Fawzi
Date: Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM
Subject: Qs on Gen. Mood, list of 50 violations, & still Kofi Annan Foundation
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

Its really very simple. Major-General Mood completed his assessment mission and came back to Geneva to report to the JSE, before returning to Norway, mission accomplished. There was never any intention of him going back. The advance team of observers is being led by a Colonel.

The choice of Force Commander for the full observer mission will be made by the Secretary General, once the Security Council passes a resolution authorizing it.

  This will be news to Syria, whose Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told Inner City Press his government wants Mood to come back and keep negotiating "the protocol." Other diplomats at the UN on Saturday told Inner City Press that Mood was miffed that he wasn't accorded more pomp by the Syrian government; note that now the advance team is being led by a lower level Colonel (not named by Fawzi).

  Fawzi also answered Inner City Press' question on the "fifty violations" mentioned by Syrian Ambassador Ja'afari, and again didn't answer the questions about the Kofi Annan Foundation:

"50 Violations: there will violations by both sides. This is not unusual in this situation, both sides will be testing each other. We hope the arrival of UN observers will encourage the parties to exercise restraint and embark on the political process envisioned in the 6-point plan.

"Fund-raising by the KA Foundation: again, I don't speak for the Foundation. UN activities are funded either through the regular budget, or through extra-budgetary sources. For information on the latter please go to the Controller."

  But the Kofi Annan Foundation referred all questions to Fawzi. This is called a run around. But it is more responsive than the spokesperson team of Ban Ki-moon. Watch this site.

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