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600 Meetings and a World of Conflict: What to Expect at the US General Assembly



This year, the United Nations General Assembly will unfold this week amid crises – from a warming planet to economic insecurity to flaming conflicts that threaten to further embody the United States in the volatile Middle East.

Trade wars, migration, energy supply, climate change and poverty eradication are at the heart of the 193 General Assembly agenda. But the actions of the Trump administration, which sometimes have a disdain for international institutions such as the United Nations, have created a common denominator.

"All the main topics that I think people will talk about in the hallways are related to: What is US policy? ", Said Jeffrey D. Feltman, US veteran diplomat and former UN secretary-general for political affairs.

Some leaders do not come, notably China's presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir V. Putin from Russia, and Benjamin Netanyahu The Prime Minister of Israel, Venezuela's President Nicholas Maduro, is considered by the Trump administration and about 50 other governments as an illegitimate leader.

President Trump, whose propensity for explosions, scandal and diplomatic bombardment is well known, will be surrounded by like-minded people. company on Tuesday as speeches begin.

n. Trump will be preceded by Brazilian President Jair M. Bolsonaro, sometimes called mini-Trump, a polarizing figure at home who, like Mr. Trump, dismisses his fears of climate change and ridiculed critics on Twitter.

After Mr Trump arrives, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, a former general who came to symbolize the repression of the Arab Spring revolutions – although his appearance was called into question last weekend when protests broke out 19459010 At home. Then comes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, an autocrat who harasses critics and whose government is a leading prisoner of journalists.

Speculation has recently been raised that Mr Trump will make history by meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. But the September 14 attack on oilfields in Saudi Arabia, for which U.S. and Saudi officials blame Iran, made such a meeting at best.

US officials are expected to present what they described as evidence that Iran carried out the attack with drones and cruise missiles. Iran has denied the accusation. Yemen's Houthi rebels, backed by Iran in their fight against a Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing their country for more than four years, have claimed responsibility.

Mr. Rouhani spoke on Wednesday and will almost certainly claim that Mr Trump has ignited the cycle of the conflict, withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal last year with major powers and again imposing severe sanctions that cripple his economy.

The United States is trying to create a coalition to deter Iran, even if it is not clear in what form such deterrence would take. The general meeting allows the administration to "continue to delay the military response in favor of greater coalition building and political and economic pressure," said Aaron David Miller, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The climate crisis is at the top of the agenda of the General Assembly. About 60 heads of state plan to speak at the climate summit on Monday, and employees aim to announce initiatives that include non-zero carbon emissions in buildings.

The United States has no such plans – Mr Trump announced in 2017 that he was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. But some state governors who set up the US Climate Union said they would attend the summit and meet with other delegations.

Progress will focus on convincing the European Union to extend economic sanctions against Mr Maduro's loyalists, including the freezing of assets they hold in Europe. Europeans may also be pressured to penalize smugglers of Venezuelan gold in Europe.

n. Maduro, who claimed victory in a contested election last fall, has retained power despite nine months of demands to resign from a stubborn opposition movement led by Venezuelan Parliament Speaker Juan Guido. Negotiations between Venezuelan rivals collapsed last week.


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