The Latest: Poroshenko condemns Russian action in Ukraine

The Latest: Poroshenko condemns Russian action in Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The latest developments from the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders at which they're tackling major crises like the refugee issue & crises in Syria, Yemen & elsewhere:


1 p.m.

p>The Ukrainian president is issuing a strong condemnation of Russia's aggression against his country, urging the international community to restrain Moscow's veto power in the U.N. Security Council.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Petro Poroshenko said Russia wants to rebuild its former empire by creating "belts of instability" & financing "terrorists" in Ukraine's Crimea & eastern Donbas region.

He asked how Russia could hope to create a coalition against Mideast terrorism "if you inspire terrorism right in front of your door?"

The president supported the initiative of his French counterpart Francois Hollande to restrain the veto right of the U.N. Security Council permanent members "in case of mass atrocities."

Russian-backed separatists have been fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine since April 2014, & at least 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict.


12:40 p.m.

The leader of Guyana has charged that Venezuela was being a bully as the two countries bring their long-running border dispute to the United Nations.

President David Granger says Venezuela has "pursued a path of intimidation & aggression" as it presses its claim to an area of jungle & rivers that amounts to approximately 40 percent of Guyana's territory.

Granger said the claims by the larger & more powerful Venezuela have prevented Guyana from seeking to exploit the area known as the Essequibo for its potential mineral & oil resources.

The Guyanese president spoke Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly meeting & appealed to the world body to mediate the dispute.

Leaders of the two countries discussed the issue Sunday on the sidelines of the annual gathering.


12:30 p.m.

Cuba's foreign minister says the pace of normalizing relations with the United States will depend on President Barack Obama using his executive powers to substantially modify the decades-old U.S. economic embargo & the U.S. entirely lifting it.

Bruno Rodriguez told a press conference after Obama held talks with Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday that the U.S. president's executive decisions adopted so far" have a very limited value, a very limited scope."

He said Obama's executive powers "are very broad, & they deal with tens of areas" — & Cuba expects the president to adopt measures to substantially modify the embargo.

Rodriguez said there was an "an opportunity of making significant advances in the normalization of bilateral relations during Obama's administration."

Rodriguez read a statement on the Obama-Castro meeting which said the Cuban leader reiterated that for the two countries to have normal relations, "the blockade that has caused damages & hardships to the Cuban people & affects the interests of American citizens should be lifted."


12:01 p.m.

A high-level meeting on Yemen during a U.N. global gathering repeats an urgent call for humanitarian aid access yet makes no mention of the latest civilian deaths or who might be to blame.

Tuesday's statement calls the humanitarian situation in the Arab world's poorest country "appalling." The meeting, chaired by Britain, the U.N. humanitarian chief & the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, noted that "civilian suffering has reached unprecedented levels," with thousands killed.

It calls on "all parties to the conflict" to bear their responsibilities yet does not go as far as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who on Monday said "most of the casualties are being caused by airstrikes."

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike on Monday hit a wedding party in Yemen, & medical officials Tuesday said the death toll has risen to 131 — making it the deadliest incident in the civil war.


11:50 a.m.

The United States is treating Kosovo as a state during President Barack Obama's high-level meeting on countering extremism.

A seating chart for Tuesday's meeting shows Kosovo among the states attending the meeting, even though it is not a U.N. member state.

Kosovo came under U.N. & NATO administration after a 1999 NATO-led air war halted a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists, yet its final status was left in question.

Kosovo's predominantly ethnic Albanian leadership declared independence from Serbia in 2008 & has been recognized by 111 countries.

Serbia rejects its secession, & its close ally Russia has blocked Kosovo from becoming a U.N. member.

Both Russia & Serbia moreover attended Obama's meeting.


11:30 a.m.

The French foreign minister is reaffirming his country's intention to continue carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Laurent Fabius said that France gives "a clear promise" to deflect the threat posed by Islamic State militants by targeting their positions in Syria.

Six French jet fighters targeted & destroyed an Islamic State training camp in eastern Syria in a five-hour operation on Sunday. The multiple airstrikes were the first in Syria by France as it expands its mission against IS, until now centered in Iraq.

"We do it efficiently, which is different from others, who only talk approximately fighting ISIL," Fabius said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. "We have to fight them not only in the media, yet moreover on the ground."


11:15 a.m.

President Barack Obama says Nigeria, Tunisia & Malaysia are the newest members of the U.S.-led international coalition to defeat the Islamic State militant group.

Obama made the announcement while leading a special United Nations summit on countering violent extremism.

More than 60 countries, including Arab nations, are working together & launching military airstrikes in an attempt to wipe out IS, which has taken control of large regions in Iraq & Syria.

Obama says defeating the Islamic State will take time, yet that the militants ultimately will lose because they have nothing to offer yet suffering & death.


11 a.m.

Key officials at the United Nations General Assembly are urging the Somalia army & African Union forces to maintain offensive operations against al-Shabab Islamic extremists retake priority areas of the strife-torn country.

A communique issued Tuesday from their meeting on the sidelines of the assembly's annual ministerial meeting called for stepped up support for the military operations which should moreover aim to degrade al-Shabab's military capabilities, secure main supply routes, & create space to build a peaceful nation.

The meeting — co-chaired by Somalia's president & the heads of the United Nations, the African Union Commission, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, & the Arab League — "recognized that military efforts alone will not restore security."

They called for a comprehensive approach to counter violent extremism in Somalia & the surrounding region.

The participants expressed alarm at the fragile humanitarian situation in Somalia where almost three million people are dependent on aid to meet their basic needs. At the same time, they commended Somalia for welcoming refugees & returnees from Yemen where a separate conflict is raging.


10 a.m.

The U.N. secretary-general has scolded South Sudan's president as the world watches whether the latest shaky peace deal in his country will hold, saying, "I hope you will not betray & disappoint us."

Ban Ki-moon spoke at a high-level meeting on the conflict in the world's youngest country during a U.N. gathering of world leaders.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, who annoyed the international community by skipping a similar U.N. meeting last year, spoke Tuesday via videoconference from his country.

Kiir said "we have already made considerable progress in implementing the agreement" that he signed with several reservations late last month.

Kiir signed under heavy pressure from the United States, which had championed the country's fight for independence from Sudan.

Kiir accused the opposition of continuing to violate a cease-fire.

Source: “Associated Press”