Obama has no scheduled meetings with Putin, Rouhani at UN

US President Barack Obama has no scheduled meetings with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly Session, the White House has said.

Washington: US President Barack Obama has no scheduled meetings with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly Session, the White House has said.

"I don't know of any planned communication between President Obama and President Rouhani that's scheduled for the UN," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

He gave a similar answer when asked about Obama's meeting with Putin.

"I don't have any meetings with President Putin to announce at this point. It could be added to the schedule, but I don't have anything like that to announce at this point," Earnest said.

Obama is scheduled to travel to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session, during which he is expected to meet a host of world leaders, details of which have not been announced yet.

Obama would be meeting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko later this week.

"The President is looking forward to the meeting he's having with President Poroshenko here at the White House later this week, and that will be an opportunity for him to discuss the latest as it relates to their efforts to lock down the ceasefire, get both sides to agree to it. That will be a very important meeting, and one the President looks forward to," Earnest said.

The US-Iranian talks, he said, are currently focused on resolving the nuclear issue.

"The nature of our conversations with Iran right now is principally focused on resolving the nuclear issue.

 

There are senior level administration officials that have been directed by the President to engage with their Iranian counterparts to try to resolve the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear programme," Earnest said.

"That's the focal point of those conversations, and I don't know what the nature of conversations will be in New York, if any occur," he said reiterating that at present there are no plans for Obama-Rouhani meeting.

Last year, Obama became the first US President in several decades to talk to the Iranian President over phone.

Responding to questions, Earnest said Russia like much of the developed world, the civilized world is rightly concerned about ISIL.

"They are concerned because of the destabilising impact that this terrible group is having on the region. They're rightly concerned about this issue of foreign fighters, something that we've talked about from here," he said.

"These are individuals with foreign passports that have traveled to the region to take up the fight alongside ISIL. There is the concern that these individuals, after getting some training and equipment and becoming further radicalised, could return back to the country from which they originated and carry out acts of violence," Earnest said. 

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