President Obama took on a confrontational tone in his speech this morning to the United Nations General Assembly, specifically calling out Russia, China and Iran for destabilizing activities in various world conflicts.
Obama opened his speech directly decrying “strong states that seek to impose their will on weaker ones,” then alluded to Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“On this basis, we see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law,” Obama said. “We’re told that such retrenchment is required to beat back disorder, that it’s the only way to stamp out terrorism. In accordance with this logic, we should support tyrants like Bashar al-Assad.”
Obama’s remarks came just before a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two will also have their first sit-down in more than two years in the afternoon and are expected to discuss Russian involvement in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
In an interview clip released by the Kremlin Sunday, Putin explained Russia’s recent surge of support for Assad’s government as a means to combat ISIS terrorists in the country.
Just days after hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping for a lavish state visit, Obama used his remarks to call out Chinese land-building activities in the South China Sea.
“The United States makes no claim on territory there,” Obama said. “But like every nation gathered here, we have an interest in upholding the basic principles of freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce.”
Full article: President Obama Confronts Russia, China and Iran In Speech to UN (ABC)