ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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US envoy refrains from offering stance on Guterres’s invocation of rare UN charter clause aimed at Gaza ceasefire

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, addresses members of the UN Security Council at United Nations headquarters, on October 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, addresses members of the UN Security Council at United Nations headquarters, on October 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield twice balks on offering a position regarding UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s decision to invoke a rare clause in the UN charter to urge Security Council intervention in bringing about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

“We’re aware of the Secretary-General’s letter. And as has been the case from the start of this conflict, we have remained closely engaged with the United Nations and other partners in the region,” Thomas-Greenfield tells NPR.

“We’ve supported the humanitarian pause, which ended a few days ago, but we’re also continuing to work with the parties in the region… to find a path forward, to continue to get humanitarian assistance, to get hostages out and to move toward a process that will lead to a two-state solution,” the US envoy adds.

Guterres has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the unfolding war, and on Wednesday he wrote to the 15-member Security Council under Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since he took the helm of the 193-member world body in 2017.

It is also the first time any secretary-general has made use of it since 1989. The article allows the secretary-general to bring to the council’s attention any matter that he believes threatens international peace and security.

The interviewer tries pressing Thomas-Greenfield a second time regarding the US stance on Guterres’s decision, but she doesn’t budge.

“The Secretary-General has the authority to issue these letters, and we’re going to continue to work with the UN to find a path to address concerns that he and others have raised,” she says.

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