Struggling at home, Obama to get warm UN welcome

19 Sep 2009
Source: Reuters
By Louis Charbonneau

…Not everyone sees the improved U.S. image at the United Nations as a good thing.

“The Obama administration has made repeated efforts to curry favor with rogue regimes, and in particular, the Arab and Muslim states that control the balance of power in many U.N. bodies,” said Anne Bayefsky, a human rights expert at the conservative Hudson Institute think tank.

“The consequences felt by Obama’s approach include a defiant legitimized Iranian President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, a belligerent North Korea, (and) Sudanese indifference to the International Criminal Court,” she said. U.S. officials say Obama has no plans to meet with leaders of such nations as Iran or Libya next week. But chance encounters and quick handshakes cannot be ruled out.

John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations known for his harsh criticism of the world body, said it was no surprise Obama would get a warm welcome at U.N headquarters on First Avenue and 42nd Street, especially from left-leaning European delegates.

“He’s one of them,” Bolton said. “But fundamentally whether U.S.-bashing is up or down at the U.N. doesn’t make any difference in the real world. It’s just the twilight zone on First Avenue.”

Read the entire article at Reuters.

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