Middle East Updates / Obama not due to meet Iran’s Rohani at UNGA, but open to it


6:35 A.M. U.S. President Barack Obama is not scheduled to meet Iranian President Hassan Rohani in New York during the United Nations General Assembly next week, though the U.S. leader remains open to such a meeting, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is likely to hold bilateral talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tehran’s nuclear program and other issues on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at UN headquarters, the official said on condition of anonymity.

“At this point there is no meeting scheduled,” the official said. “The president of the United States is well known for being open to such a meeting but the choice is really Iran’s.”

Iran and six world powers – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – resume negotiations on Friday to hammer out a long-term nuclear accord that would bring an end to international sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s atomic program.

The U.S. official said it was possible that foreign ministers from the six powers and Iran would join the nuclear talks on the sidelines of the General Assembly, two months ahead of a November 24 deadline for a final agreement. (Reuters)

3:03 A.M. U.S. President Barack Obama says that strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for the training and arming of moderate Syrian rebels showed Americans were united in the fight against Islamic State militants. (Reuters)

2:50 A.M. The U.S. Senate easily approves controversial legislation requested by Obama to allow the training and arming of moderate Syrian rebels in their fight against Islamic State militants. (Reuters)



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