Biden will push for Ukraine aid, democracy as China and Russia skip the UN | Albiseyler

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  • With a few notable exceptions, leaders from at least 145 countries are expected to attend: France, the United Kingdom, China and Russia will not be absent.
  • The war in Ukraine will be a “substantial part” of Biden’s speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
  • It will be the first time that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has personally attended a UN summit since the beginning of the war.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (right) and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (right) look on as President Joe Biden talks about the government’s response and recovery efforts in Maui, Hawaii, and the ongoing response to Hurricane Idalia in the Roosevelt Room. at the White House in Washington, DC on August 30, 2023.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden will address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, where he intends to promote democracy and advocate for increased support for Ukraine.

It’s another opportunity for Biden to push the ideas of diplomacy and democracy against those of aggressive autocracies, as he did at the recent Group of 20 summit earlier this month.

“(Biden) will present to the world the steps he and his administration have taken to advance a vision of American leadership that is built on the premise of working with others to solve the world’s most pressing problems,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said at a briefing Friday.

Leaders from at least 145 countries are due to attend, with a few notable exceptions: France, the United Kingdom, China and Russia will not be present, meaning four of the five countries that hold permanent seats on the UN Security Council will not attend. .

The absence of China and Russia gives Biden an opportunity to develop relations between the United States and smaller developing countries.

On Wednesday, Biden is scheduled to meet with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a key leader in the Global South who has also been a proponent of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Lula claimed that the US and other Western nations were prolonging the war with their defense support.

The president will also meet with the leaders of the five Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the first time a US president has done so together. He will also meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first time the pair have met since the prime minister won re-election last fall.

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It will be the first time Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has attended a UN summit in person since the start of the war in February 2022. He delivered a pre-recorded speech to the body at last year’s meeting.

“President Biden looks forward to hearing President Zelensky’s perspective on all of this and reaffirming to the world and to the United States, to the American people, his commitment to continue to lead the world in support of Ukraine,” Sullivan said.

A “substantial portion” of Biden’s speech will be devoted to the war in Ukraine, Sullivan said.

“He will speak to the fundamental fact that the Charter of the United Nations … speaks to the basic proposition that countries cannot attack their neighbors and steal their territory by force,” Sullivan said, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “That was also the proposal that was at the heart of the G20 statement last weekend.”

Biden’s message of support for Ukraine is complicated by the fact that a handful of hardline Republicans in Congress actively oppose more funding.

The White House is seeking $24 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, which it hoped would be approved along with a continuing resolution to keep the government open while budget negotiations continue. The measure has bipartisan support in the Senate, but is stalled in the House of Representatives, where some members, such as Rep. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said she would not support any more aid.

GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in a precarious position on Ukraine, as his slim majority puts him at the whim of every member of his committee. Conservatives last week balked at McCarthy’s proposal to tie aid to Ukraine with additional border funding.

Zelenskyy will travel to Washington, DC on Thursday to meet with Biden at the White House and speak to lawmakers. Unlike his December visit, Zelenskyy will not address a joint session of Congress. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Zelenskyi would be “very, very persuasive.”

“Zelenskyy is a great speaker,” Turner said Sunday on CBS News. “He really makes the case better than anyone else.

It’s a position the White House agrees with.

“Over the last 18, 19 months, he has demonstrated that there is no better advocate for his country, for his people, and for the urgent and continuing need for countries like the United States and our allies and partners to step up. to provide the necessary tools and resources that Ukraine needs,” Sullivan said.

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