News / Middle East

Obama at UN to Address Unrest Over Video, Iran Nuclear Issue

President Barack Obama arrives at JFK International Airport in New York, Sept. 24, 2012. President Barack Obama arrives at JFK International Airport in New York, Sept. 24, 2012.
x
President Barack Obama arrives at JFK International Airport in New York, Sept. 24, 2012.
President Barack Obama arrives at JFK International Airport in New York, Sept. 24, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.  He is expected to speak about demonstrations across the Middle East as well as Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly last year, Obama spoke in sweeping terms about what he called the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.

That speech covered the winding down of the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan and its end in Iraq, Arab Spring upheavals and the birth of new nations such as South Sudan.  He also voiced frustration with the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

This year, Obama will speak again about change in the Middle East, but also will address the violent demonstrations in the Muslim world, sparked by an anti-Islam video produced by private individuals in the United States.  

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says Obama will send a strong message about the unacceptability of violence and U.S. determination to continue playing a leading role.

"Violence is never acceptable, a message that has been echoed by the leaders he has personally reached out to in places like Egypt, Libya and Yemen.  He will also send a clear message that the United States will never retreat from the world.  The United States will bring justice to those who harm Americans, and the United States will stand strongly for our democratic values abroad," said Carney.

Ahead of Tuesday's speech, the White House faced some tough questions about Obama's remarks in an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes program.  The president said he knew there would be "bumps on the road" of political transformation in the Mideast.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jumped on that.  He said he couldn't imagine calling the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans a "bump in the road."

In the 60 Minutes interview, Obama said it was "absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights and the notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance."

The White House also faced questions about President Obama's schedule in New York Obama's decision not to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu here continues to draw fire from the Romney campaign and key Republican lawmakers.  

The Israeli leader is expected, in his General Assembly speech Thursday, to warn that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a global threat.

Although Obama met separately with 13 foreign leaders last year, the White House has announced no bilateral meetings in advance.

Jay Carney said Obama had intensive consultations in recent weeks with a range of foreign leaders.

"His consultations and meetings with foreign leaders will continue, going forward, with the same kind of intensity that we have seen of late, as dictated and required by events in the world and by this president's commitment to U.S. national security interests," he said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not Obama, will meet with Netanyahu.  

Press Secretary Carney said the General Assembly session presents another opportunity for Obama to underscore his commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid