Obama, Castro To Meet At U.N. Next Week

He is not scheduled to meet with Mr. Rouhani, but they are all invited to a lunch hosted by the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, for heads of state and government.


In an interview with USA journalist Charlie Rose for CBS and PBS television network, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia recognizes only the legitimacy of the army that is subordinated to the legal President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.

Republicans often claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Obama is “weak” on worldwide affairs, but that talking point was squashed over the weekend. “Assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing, and in turn created the environment for the current strife,” he said.

The United Nations chief, in unusually hard-hitting words, also urged the world to unite against the “blatant brutality” of extremist groups including the Islamic State.

“But what we do recognise is we’ve never argued he has to go immediately – we have to work our way through these issues”.

Syria has been torn apart by the civil war, which started as an uprising against Mr Assad’s government and involves rebel groups as well as Islamic State.

Cameron, Obama and French President Francois Hollande, had previously demanded that Assad be removed from power as a condition of any peace deal, a position consistently rejected by Mr Putin.

Bays said European Union and U.S. leaders were also divided on what role Assad, a close ally of Putin, would play after any future settlement.

President Assad has a foreign policy that is “independent of Washington” and that is why Syria has become a target, he said.

Mr Putin said Western backing for Middle East revolutions such as Libya’s had ended in terrorism, “violence, poverty and social disaster”, rather than the hoped-for “triumph of democracy”.

White House officials have repeatedly complained about Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria, a move the Kremlin insists is aimed at defeating ISIS.

“We are just at the beginning of trying to understand what the Russians intentions are in Syria, in Iraq and try to see if there are mutually beneficial ways forward here”, a senior United States official said on condition of anonymity.


The two leaders have seldom encountered one another since Mr Obama vowed to isolate Mr Putin in retaliation for Russia’s actions in Ukraine. There has been much debate over how the Obama administration has handled ISIS, with some conservatives in Congress now calling for America to take the lead by sending in troops.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly