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With US Coy on Egypt Aid, At UN Egypt Meeting US Absence Blamed on Shutdown

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 8 -- Amid the murk of how much aid to Egypt the Obama administration might cut, and why, Inner City Press noted that at the UN on Tuesday the US did NOT attend an Egypt-sponsored event about a Nuclear Free Middle East.

  And that this was blamed, from the floor, on the US government "shutdown." Click here for Inner City Press story of Tuesday afternoon.

  This of course even then seemed dubious. The US State Department is continuing to function; the decision not to attend or speak at the Nuclear Free Middle East event, held in a too-small room and not televised by the UN, had explanations entirely beyond the shutdown.

  But in the Nuclear Free Middle East meeting, Egypt played to the standing room only gallery, saying a meeting by itself means nothing without results, saying it has in the past been at the table but still been on the menu, chiding Israel for not attending or at least not speaking.

  Egypt at this meeting did NOT criticize the US. Rather, from the floor a Frankfurt-based NGO offered excuses for the US' invisibility, blaming it on the government shutdown.

  As to WHY the Egypt sponsored "open" meeting at the UN on Tuesday was not televised like other meeting at the UN, the Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info repeatedly asked the UN.

    Past 9 pm, UN official Stephane Dujarric replied to FUNCA that "regarding, the Egypt sponsored meeting on the nuclear free-zone. I am not aware of any request by the organizers to have the meeting webcast or televised."

  This immediately raises questions: if a request to televise an open meeting at the UN is required, who requested televising Ban Ki-moon in a "closed" September meeting denouncing Syria's Assad? Click here.

   On Tuesday, Iran took shots at Israel, just as earlier in the day Israel wrote to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon protesting Iran being rapporteur of the Disarmament Committee of the UN General Assembly of UNGA

On that, this was what the White House sent out at 8:42 pm:

Dear journalist colleagues: Many of you have been asking about news reports on U.S. assistance to Egypt. Below is a comment you may use on the record, attributable to NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden:

The reports that we are halting all military assistance to Egypt are false. We will announce the future of our assistance relationship with Egypt in the coming days, but as the President made clear at UNGA, that assistance relationship will continue.

What else did Obama "make clear at UNGA"? Watch this site.


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