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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs