Stewart Stogel is a veteran print/broadcast journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, the Miami Herald, Washington Times, ABC News and NBC News. Major stories broken include the death of legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq (Operation Desert Storm, 1991), and the failure of the U.S./UK military to find WMD in Iraq (March 2003).More ↓Less ↑
NEW YORK – The 2012 U.N. General Assembly will convene in New York next month and for Barack Obama it could prove to be a minefield.
Just over a month before the U.S. elections, the U.N. gathering will draw friends and foes of the White House.
A list of expected notables was recently obtained by WND.
New French President Francois Hollande will make his first U.N. appearance when he speaks on September 25.
Long-time ally, British Prime Minister David Cameron will return to New York to speak on September 26.
Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihiko Noda, will travel to the G.A. podium for the first time also on September 26.
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma will speak on September 26 and Mexico’s new President Enrique Pena Nieto will follow the next day.
There will be some important absences.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, will be conspicuous no-shows.
Pakistani President Ali Zadari and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, perhaps reflecting strained elations with the White House will also sit out the U.N.
But, some potential “thorns” for Obama and Co. will come to New York city and promise to rain on the U.S. president.
First on the list, is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In what has become a ritual annual pilgrimage, the Iranian leader will arrive in the Big Apple on September 24 and remain till Friday Sept 28.
The visit will come at a time when the U.N. is being pressured by the White House to increase the political/economic sanctions on Iran and its nuclear “research” program which Washington insists is a cover for a nuclear bomb project.
The failure to contain Iran has been a glaring problem for Obama, and Ahmadinejad’s New York visit is intended to grpahicaaly high-light it just weeks before election day.
Another problem for Obama is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who intends to pursue his quest for statehood when he speaks on September 29.
Washington and Jerusalem are strongly against the Palestinian strategy insisting that only direct bi-lateral negotiations between
Israel and P.A. is the way to eventual statehood.
While not U.N. a member, Abbas is nonetheless being treated as an “unofficial” head of a defacto state and has been given a speaking position along side established, recognized nations.
Sensing political controversy, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu will avoid the U.N. this September, sending Defense Minister Ehud Barak to fill in.
New Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, will make his first visit to the U.N.
His appearance could prove to be a wild card for Washington.
He is expected to meet Ahmadinejad and Obama while in N.Y.C..
A photo op of the two presidents is something not to sit well with the White House.
The meeting itself will be closely watched.
Two other long-time U.S. antagonists have also stated their intentions to travel to New York.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will both come to the 2012 General Assembly.
Despite intense efforts by the U.S. to remove both from power, they have remained in office, for more than two decades.
Ortega and Mugabe have long-running battles with Washington dating back to the days of Ronald Reagan.
The Romney campaign has not indicated whether the Republican nominee will meet any of the visiting dignitaries during the U.N. assembly next month.