In UN speech, Obama blasts Assad, ISIS, takes aim at Russia
When a dictator slaughters his own people, that is not an internal matter but affects us all, said President Barack Obama in his address to the UN General Assembly Monday. And when ISIS decapitates people and enslaves women, that affects all of humanity, he said. He went on to blast President Vladimir Putin, whom he meets later Monday, for Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in southeastern Ukraine. "We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated," said the US president. The United States was willing to work with any nation, including Iran and Russia, to end the lengthy civil war in Syria. At the same time, he emphasized, any resolution of the conflict must lead to the exit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Putin is due to deliver the next speech at the UN before meeting Obama for the first time in a year. They were already at odds before they talked, with Obama insisting on Ukraine topping their agenda, and the Kremlin stressing that Syria must be uppermost and Ukraine “only if there is time.”