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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora