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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs