The Iran Project

Obama, Putin, Rouhani, Xi and Hollande to address UN on same day

Lineup for opening morning of general assembly marking 70th anniversary of United Nations presents possibility of rhetorical fireworks in New York

It promises to be a rhetorical battle of the titans, on a scale not seen for at least a decade. On a Monday morning in late September, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani, Xi Jinping and François Hollande are all scheduled to deliver speeches at the United Nations in New York, setting out their visions of the geopolitical landscape at the outset of a highly uncertain era.

The vagaries of the timetable at the general assembly meeting marking the 70th anniversary of the UN mean all five leaders will be addressing the chamber within the space of a couple of highly charged hours. Putin’s plans to attend for the first time in a decade has added spice. It will also be Xi’s general assembly debut.

It will be the first joint appearance on a public stage of Obama and Rouhani since the Iran nuclear deal agreed this month in Vienna, and there is great anticipation that the two presidents could meet for the first time.

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This article was written by Julian Borger for The Guardian on July 29, 2015. Julian Borger is the Guardian’s diplomatic editor. He was previously a correspondent in the US, the Middle East, eastern Europe and the Balkans.

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