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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid