Obama at UN: Putin Needs to Get on Board With Assad Ouster

POTUS wants Assad out, says 'tyrant' isn't best choice to fight ISIS
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2015 12:07 PM CDT
President Barack Obama addresses the 70th session of the UN General Assembly at UN headquarters on Monday.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – "Dangerous currents" are creating a "darker world," President Obama told the UN General Assembly on Monday, touching on a slew of issues including the "apocalyptic cult" ISIS, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and Syria's civil war, NBC News reports. Obama underscored the need to keep global stability intact, even if it means working with Iran and Russia to bring the Syrian crisis to a halt and oust the "tyrant" Bashar al-Assad—but he warned that Vladimir Putin has to get on board with this plan and also end the continued Russia-Ukraine crisis, the Washington Post reports. "We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated," Obama said, adding, per NBC: "If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation represented here today."

Not that Putin is likely to cave, especially regarding Syria: The Russian has made clear that he believes Assad's military is best equipped to fight the ISIS battle and should be bolstered, the AP notes. Putin has poked fun of "illegal" US efforts to train moderate rebels to fight Syria, per the Post, and even made a surprise announcement on 60 Minutes that he'd made an anti-ISIS intelligence-sharing pact with Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Putin and Obama are expected to meet face to face Monday night—the first such meeting in a year—and Obama will likely keep emphasizing that Assad is bad news. "We must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo," he told the UN. (Obama will meet with Raul Castro Tuesday at the UN.)

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