News / Middle East

    Morsi, Middle East Take Center Stage at UN General Assembly

    Mohammed Morsi, President of Egypt, addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.
    Mohammed Morsi, President of Egypt, addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.
    Margaret Besheer
    At the United Nations General Assembly, Egypt's new president made his debut Wednesday, while Iran's president gave his final speech to the annual gathering.  Away from the podium, leaders discussed crises in the Sahel, Somalia and Middle East. 
     
    Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi, introduced himself as his country's first civilian president elected democratically following a peaceful revolution.  He laid out the new Egypt's vision on issues in the Middle East and Africa and denounced a recent video that mocked Islam.

    He said the most important issue facing the international community is the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "I call upon you all, just as you have supported the revolutions of the Arab peoples, I call upon you to lend your support to the Palestinians in their endeavor to regain the full and legitimate rights of a people struggling to gain its freedom and establish his independent state," he said.
     
    On the crisis in Syria, President Morsi said the bloodshed must end and the humanitarian crisis stop.  He urged the opposition to propose a unified vision of a democratic transfer of power and said the time would soon come for the Syrian people to decide their destiny.

    "After this regime - the current regime - comes to an end -- the regime that kills its people day and night - after this regime comes to an end, the Syrian people will choose, with their own freewill, a regime that represents it and places Syria in its right place among democratic countries," he said. 
     
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also spoke Wednesday.  In his eighth and final appearance at the annual gathering, he struck a more sedate tone, giving his ideas about a new world order and mostly refraining from his usual vitriol about the United States and Israel. 

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures as he arrives at his seat before addressing the 67th session of the UN General Assembly at UN. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures as he arrives at his seat before addressing the 67th session of the UN General Assembly at UN. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
    x
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures as he arrives at his seat before addressing the 67th session of the UN General Assembly at UN. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures as he arrives at his seat before addressing the 67th session of the UN General Assembly at UN. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
    He made only one vague reference to his country’s problems with the international community over its controversial nuclear program.  He is heard here through an interpreter: "Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality," he said. 

    The United States said it did not send a representative to hear Ahmadinejad’s speech because he had used his U.N. trip to "spout paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel."  Wednesday was also the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron used his time at the podium to urge support for the Arab Spring. "The Arab Spring represents a precious opportunity for people to realize their aspirations for a job, a voice and a stake in their own future," he said. 

    Away from the podium, the U.N. Security Council held a high-level meeting with the Arab League on how the two bodies could improve cooperation.  Syria and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process figured prominently among their remarks.

    There were also high-level meetings to discuss the political transition in Somalia and the crisis in the Sahel.  The United States and France urged the United Nations to support an African-led peacekeeping force to restore stability in northern Mali. 

    The annual meeting continues Thursday with an address from Burma's civilian president, Thein Sein, and speeches from the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, among others. Outside the General Assembly, there will be a meeting of world powers on Iran's nuclear program.

    Watch related video of presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan at UN

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Stella from: Tx
    September 28, 2012 1:42 PM
    Why cant be world at peace.? Education is the key to peace.

    by: Hassan from: Canada
    September 27, 2012 2:44 PM
    Nabil, I cried when i read your message. I am Egyptian Copt and i live in Canada. I hate Canada as much as you hate UK. my daughter called your message to our attention and she passed it to all our family. we all cried. we love our Egypt but we know that it is destroyed by the degrading influence of Islam. Egypt become like Hamas and Hizbullah everyone is in fear. Nabil, you are so right when you say that the world is happy to be deceived by Islam... they don't know what it is. they don't know its vile nature. my daughter said that the only redeeming value of Islam is that it is suicidal - it eventually kills itself... after it kills everyone else...
    someone called Quran satanic verses... he was so right... keep paying Nabil, for the people of the lord in Jerusalem will deliver us too... amen.

    by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: USA
    September 27, 2012 1:18 AM
    By allowing the obscurantist Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis to hijack the Arab Spring, the Arabs missed the train again.

    by: kafantaris from: USA, Ohio
    September 26, 2012 11:31 PM
    The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself are both utopian, and both over 200 years old. But unlike other utopias, the one our forefathers embraced works. It has an ingenious mechanism to revitalize its institutions: Freedom of speech. As John Stuart Mill explained, when a society allows its citizens to question its government, its values and its most sacred beliefs, the examination finds errors and things for improvement.

    But even when no correction at all is needed, the challenge in itself works miracles -- it forces us to defend them. If things prove fine after such "stress test," we learn that we are on the right track. Merely knowing this wipes away uncertainty and replaces it with life and vigor. Such is the hidden benefit of open debate -- and the reason why institutions elsewhere stagnate and die.

    And no one rushes to save them because people have forgotten long before why they are there in the first place. This is the grave danger John Mill warned us about. The fathers of this country gave heed to his words. Perhaps the fathers of new democracies should do the same.

    by: john from: german
    September 26, 2012 10:43 PM
    Nabil from UK, I understand your feeling. But sorry to tell you that you had better stay outside just for your safety. As what you said, Muslim is engaging in genocide against its own people - even Muslims themself. Since Egypt and the arab countires are under the rule of Islam, there will be hopeless for them. What they eager and passionate is violence and bloodshed.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    September 26, 2012 9:02 PM
    in morsi speech,he attacked freedom of speech. freedom of speech is the right of every citizen .muslim believe that they the right to incite violence.they have the right to attack other religion but once a video has negeative thought about islam ,they got angry. mslim has to clean their act.if they do not like western culture ,do not ask aids. dont ask tourist to visit Egypt and see who will be the loser

    by: Nabil from: UK
    September 26, 2012 4:56 PM
    you are right "ali Baba" - i am Egyptian Copt... i live in exile from the country that i love Egypt... i live in UK - a place that i come to hate with passion... i want to go back to my country but i am afraid... why... because the Muslim Brotherhood is engaging in genocide against its own people - even Muslims - who they think are unworthy of the "blessings" of strict Islamic law... I love my country Egypt but i fear the world is willing to be deceived by Islam...

    by: Hadeer from: Egypt
    September 26, 2012 3:34 PM
    Morsi is our president we love him and agree with every word he said, we trust him, respect him and elected him. Muslims Brotherhood love their county and try develop it.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    September 26, 2012 3:04 PM
    what morsi ,pakistan and afginstan in united nation are not telling the truth.all of them use double standard and what they say are not their real opnion.morsi is belong to brotherhood .a fanatic group that want change egypt into islamic state by steps.he seeking ecnomic help from the west to strong his position then the real color of morsi will surface and it will be sad for egypt

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora