WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The president is in New York where he is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly with what is being described as his final “State of the World” address before November.
President Barack Obama will address the U.N. Tuesday just weeks removed from the assassination of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi. He is expected to focus his remarks on recent unrest in the Middle East, much of which was sparked by the release of the anti-Islam video denigrating the Prophet Mohammed.
In an appearance on “The View” Monday afternoon Obama spoke of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya saying “it wasn’t just a mob action.” He confirmed an investigation is still underway but it’s clear there are still a lot of threats “out there” targeting the U.S.
Obama affirmed the need to maintain pressure on al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan but wouldn’t go as far as to say the attack was of the terrorist nature.
“That’s why we have to maintain the strongest military in the world,” Obama declared. “That’s why we can’t let down our guard when it comes to the intelligence work.”
Among other world issues expected to be addressed in Obama’s final international address before the November election is the civil war tearing Syria apart. Since fighting broke out in March 2011, activists say nearly 30,000 people have died in the war-torn country.
Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, who took over for Kofi Annan on Sept. 1 says he will not give up his family’s rule over the land. Attacks worsened Monday when Syrian planes dropped bombs over the northern city of Aleppo.
Through excerpts released in advance of the speech, the White House says the president will also speak out against the nuclear proliferation of Iran, a continuous problem to a now tenuous relationship with U.S. ally Israel.
“Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,’’ Obama says in the speech. “That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
UN Ambassador to Israel Ron Prosor, showed his country’s equal disdain for Iran by walking out of the General Assembly hall as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory Monday.
Ahmadinejad used similar rhetoric to Obama, saying he urged all nations to “hold occupiers accountable and make efforts to return the occupied territories to their rightful owners.”