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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs