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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid