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As NPT Fails, US Calls Egypt “Unrealistic,” Reuters Says She Didn't Name Egypt

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 22, updated -- After four weeks of Non-Proliferation Treaty talks at the UN in New York, and after a draft final document was distributed past midnight, on May 22 US Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller said in the UN General Assembly Hall that there was no agreement on the document and that Egypt had been “unrealistic”

   She said, on UNTV, that the US attempted to work with Egypt, but “in particular Egypt were not willing to let go of unrealistic and unworkable condition included in the draft text.”

    A few speakers later -- Canada, the UK and the Marshall Islands -- Iran asked for the meeting to be suspended. Inner City Press ran to the GA entrance; on the way a Western diplomat complained to it that Iran's suspension might jeopardize the ability of countries to give their speeches (about failure.) This diplomat, unprompted, said that the US attack on Egypt was irregular.

  In front of the GA, Inner City Press asked Austria's Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, who said the UN calling out Egypt was “surprising.” Video here.

   After this, the Reuters wire service's Louis Charbonneau ran a piece -- photo here -- claiming that “Gottemoeller did not name any countries but diplomats said she was referring to Egypt.”

   Apparently Reuters, at least at the UN, does not even watch on UNTV the meetings it “reports” on, preferring to cite unnamed “diplomats” for things that were said in public, on TV.  Or too busy censoring, for example blocking from Google copies of its anti-Press complaints?

Update: after the meeting ended and after this report, Reuters tried to erase its error by calling it an update - but even after US Robert Wood said at the GA stakeout, "Egypt is to blame," Reuters faux reported that a "senior Western diplomat" said that. This is Reuters, at least at the UN -- for the Thomson Reuters versions they said "(Adds Western diplomat, U.S. quotes)" -- that is, adds US quotes that Reuters-UN initially said didn't exist despite having been on UNTV.

The meeting ended five minutes after nine, with a statement that no agreement had been reached. Then the EU asked to speak, and did.

Outside at the (non UNTV) stakeout, US Robert Wood said, twice, Egypt is to blame. One wag - this one - asked, What about the Apache helicopters? It was over.

The US put out the statement: "We attempted to work with other delegations—in particular, Egypt and other Arab League states—to improve the text; but a number of these states, and in particular Egypt, were not willing to let go of these unrealistic and unworkable conditions included in the draft text."

  Here now is a fast transcript of Egypt's speech in the GA:

Egypt associates itself with the statement of the Arab Group and NAM.

Egypt is disappointed at the end of this conference, after a month of diligent work. We are blocked from strengthening the NPT and the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons by 3 delegations.
We are concerned wit the  negative messages we have been receiving on the implementation of a middle east nuclear free zone.

It is a sad day for the NPT, a sad day for the 1995 resolution, and a sad day in moving forward.

As we and many parties in the Arab Group and NAM have said, we have come to look forward, not to look backward. Yet this approach and spirit has not been reciprocated. Even taking the right step forward in the right direction in a thousand mile march has been blocked.

Some countries are not satisfied except by obstructing.
Nothing in the paper you presented affects negatively any of the member states of the NPT and their interests. Egypt and the Arab Group have cooperated to the fullest with you. Most of the papers that were tabled were commended by Egypt, and let me, here commend Russia, let me salute them for their leadership in trying to move the process forward.

Blocking reflects the abuse of the concept of consensus. A few states, especially the United states, have stopped this document from moving forward. This will have consequences in the Arab world in terms of public opinion.

It is now clear it is no coincidence we are being blocked again.
Even as Russia assumed leadership with a middle of the road compromise, this approach was blocked. The moment of truth has come. By blocking this consensus we are depriving the middle east of a better future, away from the horrors of nuclear weapons.
We’ve heard one delegation deflecting the blame, referring specifically to Egypt. We would advise this delegation to reflect more and feel the consequences…


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