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On Egypt at UNSC, 3 Members Ask for Meeting, UN Briefers UNprepared?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 15, updated -- In the aftermath of Egypt's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, it was surreal to watch from the UN Thursday the US State Department briefing by spokesperson Jen Psaki.

  Inner City Press was been told, by more than one UN Security Council member, that there would be Security Council consultations on Egypt at 3 pm, requested by the UK, France and Australia. (Inner City Press tweeted this, noting it was at the same time as new US Ambassador Samantha Power's Twitter town hall on #WhatMatters.)

  But at the State Department briefing down in Washington, spokesperson Jen Psaki said she hadn't heard that, that she'd check again and get back "by the end of the day."

  UN Security Council consultations usually begin with a briefing by a UN official. Suddenly it was said that the UN briefers were not ready. This seemed strange, as the fact that hundreds of protesters were killed is clear.

  More likely, some powerful Security Council members that either don't want the meeting -- now it will be hard to cancel, though postponement is the UN way -- or want a delay to "get instructions" arranged for the UN briefers to be unprepared. Then again, the UN is so often unprepared. Watch this site.

Update: Inner City Press asked three UN spokespeople, in writing, to "please state if the UN Secretariat has been asked by the UN Security Council / members to give a briefing on Egypt; and, separately, who would give the briefing and if they are / were prepared to give the briefing today at 3 pm."

A UN official, not a spokesperson, told Inner City Press it would (have?) be(en?) "the DSG to brief" -- Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.

But at 2:35 pm, Inner City Press took and tweeted a cell phone photo of the Security Council stakeout: no UN Television camera up. Who put the kibosh on consultations?

Update of 2:57 pm:

Confirmed, but with delay: #UNSC to meet on #Egypt at 5:30 pm, briefing by DSG Eliasson


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