America

At UN: Obama To Speak As Critics Take Aim At Mideast Policy

Steve Inskeep speaks with Ari Shapiro

When President Obama steps to the podium at the U.N. General Assembly later this morning, he'll have a chance to explain why the U.S. opposes the bid by Palestinians to join that world body.

And as NPR's Ari Shapiro explained on Morning Edition, the president has been getting sharp criticism from "his right flank" for allegedly not being "pro-Israel enough" and from the left and some international allies for appearing to be inconsistent by "supporting self-determination in some Arab countries" but not for Palestinians.

The U.S. position is that Palestinian statehood is a subject for peace negotiations — not something to be determined by membership in the U.N. The U.S. has said it would use its Security Council veto power to block such a move.

Obama is due to speak at 10 a.m. ET. The U.N. webcasts its proceedings here. We'll put up a new post and live-blog as he speaks.

The president also has meetings scheduled for today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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