Obama: Nations must 'honestly address' tensions
In an speech on Tuesday at the United Nations, President Barack Obama touched on issues such as the Syrian civil war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without offering any new solutions. He also urged free speech and an end to 'mindless violence.'
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'The bloodshed in Syria'
While some nations, notably in the Arab world, have called for more international action to stop the violence in Syria, the U.N. Security Council has been deadlocked, and Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad's government. Qatar said it was time for action outside the United Nations.Skip to next paragraph
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"I think that it is better for the Arab countries themselves to interfere out of their national, humanitarian, political and military duties and do what is necessary to stop the bloodshed in Syria," Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said.
Syria has accused Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey of supplying arms to the Syrian rebels.
The United Nations must immediately provide protection to areas liberated by rebels in Syria, French President Francois Hollande told the General Assembly.
U.S. officials have privately made clear that they have no appetite for a military intervention without U.N. sanction in another Muslim country just as they have wound down the U.S. war in Iraq and are largely pulling out of Afghanistan by 2014.
"The international community should not look the other way as violence spirals out of control," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff sounded a note of caution. "There is no military solution to the Syrian crisis," she told the General Assembly. "Diplomacy and dialogue are not just our best option, they are the only option."
A year after the Palestinians mounted an ultimately failed effort for U.N. membership, Obama passed quickly over the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"The road is hard, but the destination is clear - a secure Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine," Obama said. "America will walk alongside all who are prepared to make that journey."
Ban offered a pessimistic assessment, suggesting that time has nearly run out for such a negotiated solution. "The two-state solution is the only sustainable option. Yet the door may be closing, for good," he said.