UN Security Council hold closed-door meeting on Egypt after bloodbath

UN Security Council hold closed-door meeting on Egypt after bloodbath

UNITED NATIONS - Agence France-Presse / The Associated Press
UN Security Council hold closed-door meeting on Egypt after bloodbath

The U.N. Security Council held an extraordinary meeting Aug. 15 over the bloody crackdown in Egypt by the security forces. AFP photo

The U.N. Security Council launched on Aug. 15 closed-door consultations on the latest developments in Egypt following the government's deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the West of ignoring the violence and called on the Security Council to meet urgently to discuss the situation. Britain, France and Australia - all council members - jointly requested the council meeting.

U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said they do not expect the council to issue a statement or adopt a resolution Aug. 15.

One diplomat said a Council statement was not likely but that members wanted to define a "common approach" aimed at the de-escalation of tensions.

The U.N. spokesman's office said Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will brief the council behind closed doors.

The death toll in Egypt soared to 638 on Aug. 15 as turmoil spread across the country, following Wednesday's crackdown on two camps housing supporters of the ousted president who were demanding his reinstatement.

Whether the council takes any action in the future is uncertain. Russia and China traditionally oppose Security Council involvement in the domestic affairs of a country, partly because of sensitivity over disputes in their own countries, including in Chechnya and Tibet.

Argentina, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, condemned "the brutal repression against popular protests that won the streets of the main cities of Egypt." It urged authorities to "totally and immediately cease the spiral of violence loosed in recent days against unarmed citizens."

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the crackdown, and U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay demanded that a wide-ranging probe be carried out.