Leaders divided over Syria approach

JASON SZENES/EPA President Obama addresses the United Nations on Monday, going after Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Syria.


President Barack Obama on Monday told the UN General Assembly that he was ready to cooperate with Russian Federation and Iran to try to find a solution to the Syrian conflict.

The official noted the meeting comes “at the request of President Putin“.

Mr. Putin will hold rare talks with United States President, Barack Obama, to discuss the issue later on Monday.

“In fact, in real life al-Assad’s army is fighting against terrorist organizations”, Putin said in an interview to USA journalist Charlie Rose for CBS and PBS TV channels ahead of his participation in the UN General Assembly.

Putin’s remarks came as Russian Federation has intensified military support for Assad, whose forces have suffered a series of significant setbacks recently in the Syrian civil war.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, will speak before the body for the first time since the signing of a key deal with world powers in July that will see global sanctions eased over Tehran’s nuclear program.

U.S.-Russian relations have slumped to a post-Cold War low over the Ukraine crisis, although the two sides shares concerns about the threat posed by Islamic State while disagreeing on the approach.

“Russia has always been combating terrorism with all its forms, and today we are offering military and technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other countries which fight terrorism…”

He said that instead of triumph of democracy “we have violence and social disaster,” where no one cares about human rights, including the right to life. It will be their second meeting since the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic ties late a year ago, and will follow Pope Francis’ visit to both countries.

The sudden military build-up in support of and a refugee crisis that has spilled over from the region into Europe have lent urgency to attempts to resolve the Syria conflict.

A spokesperson said President Obama will be asking President Putin just why he is enhancing his military involvement Syria.


And he also took aim at “the politics of us versus them”, warning that in the United States as well as around the world xenophobia and racism threaten progress in an implicit rebuke of Trump’s anti-immigration campaign.

President Barack Obama greets guests after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York Sunday Sept. 27 2015. Obama and the leaders of some of America's most stalwart allies will address the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit on its