As President Barack Obama is preparing his speech on Sept. 24, 2014 to the United Nations General Assembly in New York about uniting allies in the coalition to fight ISIS, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, he is also lining up meetings this week with leaders of Middle East countries including Iraq, Egypt and Israel.
President Obama is scheduled to deliver two speeches at the UN this week on Tuesday, Sept. 23, he speaks on climate change at the UN Climate Summit, then on Wednesday, Sept. 24, Obama will try to rally world leaders to join a coalition and fight against the terrorist organization at the General Assembly. The State Department has said that over 55 nations have pledged to participate in the coalition against ISIS, with 40 already involved at different levels of participation.
Obama will also convince the UN to agree on a resolution that “will increase the obligations on states to try to prevent and deter the flow of foreign fighters.” National Security Adviser Susan Rice described the goal of the resolution on Friday, Sept. 19, saying, “It will move the ball down the field in terms of the international legal architecture and obligations on states to try to combat this challenge.” As the Hill noted the resolution will serve as an endorsement of the president’s plan for ISIS similar to Congress’ authorization to train and arm Syrian rebels. The administration believes the president might be able to secure a unanimous vote on the resolution in the UN Security Council Meeting he is chairing this week.
Obama will also meet this week with the new president of Iraq Haider al-Abadi, and also the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Then on Oct. 1 Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, after Netanyahu comes to address the UN on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden made the announcement about the meeting on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest commented at the daily press briefing on Friday, Sept 19 about the president’s plans for the general assembly, “The thing that I would do is try to convey to you that this is part of an ongoing effort. We’re going to have conversations prior to the United Nations General Assembly meeting with our Arab partners that have signaled a willingness to join this coalition.”
Continuing Ernst elaborated on the planned meetings; “We will have conversations during the United Nations General Assembly meetings with our Arab partners who are ready to contribute to this coalition. And we’ll continue to have meetings after the U.N. General Assembly meetings.”
While Obama will be convincing the Arab leaders to join the coalition against ISIS, Netanyahu will be trying to convince Obama not to include Iran in the battle. Netanyahu believes that Iran is greater threat to the Middle East with their nuclear capability than ISIS. He wants to persuade Obama that a tentative agreement over Iran’s nuclear program should not include leniencies on sanctions in exchanged for their involvement combating ISIS, as it has been rumored.
President Obama military outlined his plan to “degrade and destroy” the terror organization in his speech to the nation on Wednesday evening, Sept. 10, 2014. Since then he has subsequently clarified his plan would not include American soldiers fighting ISIS on the ground. The president has also dedicated his weekly addresses for the past two weeks; “We Will Degrade and Destroy ISIL”and “The World Is United in the Fight Against ISIL” on his military plan, Congress’ authorization, and a global coalition. Obama will reiterate his message from Saturday, Sept. 20 at the UN; “We’ll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a stake in this fight. This isn’t America vs. ISIL. This is the people of that region vs. ISIL. It’s the world vs. ISIL.”
- Weekly Address: The World Is United in the Fight Against ISIL, September 20, 2014
- Remarks by the President at MacDill Air Force Base, September 17, 2014
- Weekly Address: We Will Degrade and Destroy ISIL, September 13, 2014
- Statement by the President on ISIL, September 10, 2014
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.