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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
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.

AppleAndroid