WASHINGTON — The United States Mission to the United Nations did not join two other permanent members and one non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council in calling for an emergency meeting on the situation in Egypt on Thursday.
The United Kingdom, France, and Australia all called for a Security Council meeting on the recent violent clashes in Egypt, which is set to take place this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson will brief the participants, according to Inner City Press.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the U.N. did not respond to repeated inquiries about why the United States didn’t join its allies in asking for a meeting.
“That’s a question for the US Mission to the UN,” said U.N. spokesperson Martin Nesirky when asked about the U.S.’s participation.
Meanwhile, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power is holding a Twitter town hall under the #whatmatters hashtag. Power did not respond to a query from BuzzFeed about the meeting. She has weighed in on the Egypt crisis on her Twitter feed:
.@CopticAssembly: Weâ€™ve made clear that #Egypt govt must protect rights of Copts & all citizens. #Religiousfreedom critical #whatmatters/ Via
Over 600 Egyptians died this week in clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, according to the latest numbers from the Egyptian Health Ministry. President Obama condemned the violence this morning but made it clear that the U.S. does not plan to cut off its $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt’s military.
According to U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq, the last time a Security Council resolution was passed on the topic of Egypt was in 1978.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean that was the last time Egypt was discussed in Security Council consultations, since the titles of the consultations do not necessarily reflect whether Egypt came up or not,” Haq said. “In fact, the title for today’s consultations is simply ‘the situation in the Middle East,’ and that may have happened in earlier times. But certainly Egypt has not previously come up in recent years.”
Update: “The President and the Secretary have expressed our serious concerns about events in Egypt, condemned the violence and called for an end to a state of emergency,” said Erin Pelton, spokesperson for Power. “U.S. officials at every level are working to urge the Egyptian authorities to deescalate the situation and ensure the universal rights of the Egyptian people are respected. We continue to consult with our partners internationally as well as in NY regarding the situation in Egypt, and we look forward to hearing from D/SYG Eliasson on this issue at 5:30 pm tonight.” (5:23 p.m.)