News / USA

Middle East Concerns Dominate Opening of UN Assembly

x
Middle East Concerns Dominate Opening of UN Assemblyi
|| 0:00:00
X
September 25, 2012 11:42 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama urged world leaders to speak out strongly against violence and extremism in the wake of an anti-Islam video that sparked international protests. Speaking at the start of the U.N. General Assembly annual debate, Mr. Obama and other leaders also demanded an end to the violence that has killed more than 20,000 people in Syria. From the United Nations, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports
Margaret Besheer
U.S. President Barack Obama urged world leaders to speak out strongly against violence and extremism in the wake of an anti-Islam video that sparked international protests.  Speaking Tuesday at the start of the U.N. General Assembly annual debate, Obama and other leaders also demanded an end to the violence that has killed more than 20,000 people in Syria.  
 
Obama said the recent attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, was not just an attack on America, but upon the ideals on which the United Nations was founded.
 
He called the anti-Islam amateur video that triggered the attack and subsequent protests around the world “crude and disgusting” and reasserted that the U.S. government had nothing to do with the film, which was made by a man in California.

Watch President Obama's Full Speech to the U.N. General Assembly
 
“There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents.  There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.  There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan," he said. 
 
Obama also sought to reassure Israel and warn Iran over its controversial nuclear program. “Let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so.  But that time is not unlimited," he said. 
 
He added that the United States would do what it must to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
 
On Syria, he said the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people.
 
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, whose government supports the Syrian opposition, said the situation has reached an “unacceptable phase,” and he urged Arab countries to intervene.  “In view of this, I think it is better for the Arab countries themselves to interfere out of their national, humanitarian, political and military duties and do what is necessary to stop the bloodshed in Syria and the killing of innocent people and their displacement, in order to guarantee a peaceful transition of power in Syria," he said.  
 
France’s president, Francois Hollande, who made his General Assembly debut, said his government will recognize a provisional transitional government in Syria as soon as it is formed.  “This government will itself have to give guarantees that every community in Syria will be respected and will be able to live in security in their own country," he said.
 
He also expressed deep concern about the violence and hunger in the Sahel region of Africa, and in particular Mali, saying the occupation of northern Mali by terrorist groups is “intolerable” and “unacceptable.”  “France, I am announcing here, will support any initiative that would enable Africans themselves to resolve this issue in the framework of international law with a clear mandate from the Security Council.  Yes, Mali must recover its territorial integrity and the terrorists must be eliminated from this region in the Sahel," he said. 
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the weeklong proceedings, telling leaders they are meeting at a time of “turmoil, transition and transformation” and urging them to use their voices to lower tensions, not raise them.

Related video of presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan
Related video of presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan at UNi
|| 0:00:00
X
September 26, 2012 2:51 PM
Related video of presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan at UN

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid