President Barack Obama says the U.N. Security council must agree to a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons that includes consequences for the regime of President Bashar Assad if he doesn't meet demands to dismantle his chemical stockpile.
Obama told his U.N. audience Tuesday that failure to include such consequences would mean the international body is unable to enforce such requirements.
Obama said it would be, "an insult to human reason and the legitimacy" of the U.N. to suggest that the Assad regime did not carry out a chemical attack on civilians last month.
The U.S. President went on to discuss a number of topics in his address to foreign leaders.
He told the United Nations General Assembly that while the world is more stable than five years ago, the deadly terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Kenya "indicates the dangers that remain."
More than 60 people have been killed by members of the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The attackers say the strike was retribution for Kenyan forces' 2011 push into neighboring Somalia.
Obama said al-Qaida has splintered into regional networks and militias, and said that poses "serious threats to governments, diplomats, businesses and civilians across the globe."
He did say that the United States hopes to maintain a constructive relationship with the interim government in Egypt but it is avoiding choosing sides since the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in July.
Obama told the General Assembly in New York that the U.S. will continue to offer to support to Egypt in areas such as education, which benefits the Egyptian people. But he says the U.S. has held up the delivery of certain military aid. And he says that future support, in his words, "will depend upon Egypt's progress in pursuing a democratic path."
The U.S. provides Egypt with about $1.5 billion a year, mostly military aid. The president's top national security aides have recommended suspending much of the money.
On the topic of Iran, the President said that he has directed Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a nuclear weapons agreement with that country and that he firmly believes "the diplomatic path must be tested."
He said that he's encouraged that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani is pursuing a more moderate course. But he said Rouhani's "conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable."
The West has long suspected that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. Tehran has consistently denied the charge.
It's still unclear if Obama will meet with Rouhani while at the United Nations. The leaders of the two countries haven't had face-to-face contact in more than 30 years.