Middle East Again Major Focus at U.N. General Assembly

Posted September 26th, 2012 at 8:15 am (UTC-5)
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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday will deliver his last address to the United Nations General Assembly as Iran's president.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech comes a day after U.S. President Barack Obama restated previous warnings that the United States and its allies would not allow Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon. Mr. Obama added that time was running out to reach a diplomatic solution.

But in an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Ahmadinejad dismissed the American president's warnings, saying the era of U.S. domination of world affairs was coming to an end.

He told the news agency,”God willing, a new order will come together and we'll do away with everything that distances us.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad's second term as Iran's president ends next June. Under Iranian law, he cannot run for a third term.

The recent unrest in the Middle East will continue to be the major focus of the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday, as Egypt's newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, delivers his first speech to the global body.

The General Assembly is also expected to hear from the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The Syrian civil war has also been at the forefront of this week's speeches. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opened the General Assembly by calling the civil war in Syria “a regional calamity with global ramifications.” He accused both the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition of crimes against humanity.

Mr. Obama renewed calls for an end to Mr. Assad's regime. He said Syria's future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people.

Syria also was on the mind of Jordan's King Abdullah, whose country is hosting more than 200,000 Syrian refugees. The king told delegates the refugee crisis is putting heavy pressure on Jordan's limited resources. He appealed for international help.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani urged Arab nations to intervene in Syria, saying the Security Council has failed to stop the violence.