Monday, July 27, 2015

Updates From The Middle East: Netanyahu To Speak At UN General Assembly In September, Saudis Denounce 'Aggressive' Iran

Netanyahu plans to join world leaders at UN General Assembly | The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to speak at the UN General Assembly in September, sources in Jerusalem said Monday.
The presidents of China, Russia, Iran and the United States are scheduled to speak at the 70th annual UN General Assembly of world leaders — a rare appearance for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the first for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The United Nations issued its first draft list of speakers Monday for what could be its largest-ever gathering of world leaders.

Pope Francis is also set to address the General Assembly a few days before President Barack Obama, Putin, Xi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speak at the gathering.

Netanyahu’s speech will likely focus on the nuclear deal brokered between world powers and Iran earlier this month, which he has lobbied against.
The General Assembly, in mid-September, will fall just as a deadline for a congressional review of the Iran deal comes up. Jerusalem has been counting on US lawmakers to vote down the deal as a last-ditch bid to quash the measure.
Other leaders are also expected to address the accord at the world confab.
The list of speakers is expected to change several times before the high-level ministerial meeting begins September 28, but so far countries not sending a head of state include India, Britain, Syria, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.
Other countries sending heads of state include France, Mexico, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Egypt, Venezuela, South Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Iraq.
The Palestinians are listed as sending Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Monday denounced “aggressive statements” by Iran, after Tehran accused Saudi ally Bahrain of stoking Gulf tensions by making unfounded allegations against it.
“This is unacceptable to us,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at a joint news conference with visiting EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Mogherini is slated to visit Iran Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations in the wake of a landmark nuclear deal struck earlier this month.

Mogherini held talks in Saudi Arabia Monday to explain the agreement she helped broker on Iran’s nuclear program, and to push for an end to Yemen’s war.

Mogherini met with Jubeir in the latest visit by a top Western official aimed at easing Saudi concerns over the deal with its regional rival.
At the same time, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a trip to the Mideast next week and then Asia, including a stop in Vietnam. Kerry, however, will not visit Israel.

Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold and former IDF military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin will travel to the US on Tuesday to brief Jewish organizations on the Iran nuclear deal, as Jerusalem gears up to fight the accord in Washington.

Gold will brief the US Jewish umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations in New York.

According to Israeli news station Channel 2, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to “go all the way” in protesting the Iran nuclear deal in the US, despite the low prospects of Congress derailing the accord.

In deciding on a full-on attack against the deal rather than a quieter campaign, the prime minister is risking further alienating US President Barack Obama, who may be forced to use his veto to protect the deal.

Netanyahu’s approach is to stress that he is not opposed to the Obama administration, but merely to the deal, according to the report.
Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer briefed Republican leaders on Israel’s objections to the Iran nuclear deal on Monday, the TV report said.

Earlier, sources in Jerusalem said Netanyahu was planning to speak at the UN General Assembly in September.

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday announced a trip to the Mideast next week and then Asia, including a stop in Vietnam. Kerry, however, will not visit Israel.

The top US diplomat starts off in Cairo, for the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue on Sunday.

He then goes to Doha, Qatar, to meet with foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

Kerry will also travel to the Southeast Asian city state of Singapore, where he will deliver a speech on US trade and investment.
The secretary will be traveling in the aftermath of the deal signed by the P5+1 powers with Iran two weeks ago, aimed at curbing its nuclear program. The deal is bitterly opposed by the Israeli government as paving the Iranian path to the bomb and giving the regime in Tehran tens of billions in sanctions relief.
Kerry has accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of going “way over the top” in his criticisms. Netanyahu is bidding to persuade Congress to reject the deal with enough votes to overcome a presidential veto.

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