UN Latest: Biden Finally Meets Netanyahu, Invites to White House

US President Joe Biden met Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York for the first time since the Israeli leader returned to power nine months ago, a modest step toward easing tension between the two leaders.

(Bloomberg) — US President Joe Biden met Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York for the first time since the Israeli leader returned to power nine months ago, a modest step toward easing tension between the two leaders.

Read more: Biden Finally Meets Netanyahu After Nine-Month Freeze

The meeting, on the sidelines of the UN Generally Assembly, also touched on Biden’s disapproval over Netanyahu’s efforts to weaken the judiciary and treatment of Palestinians, as well as Iran’s nuclear program and a US push for Saudi Arabia and Israel to normalize ties.

Biden also invited Netanyahu to the White House, a meeting the Israeli leader has sought since forming a governing coalition with far-right political parties late last year. 

Click here for the full schedule of speakers at the UN General Assembly this week. 

Essential reading:

  • Latest on Russia’s invasion: Biden Calls for More Ukraine Aid as Allies See Longer War
  • Read The Big Take on global fragmentation: The Global Economy Enters an Era of Upheaval
  • Bloomberg geoeconomist Jennifer Welch breaks down China’s effort to exert more influence at the UN
  • Read Iain Marlow’s World Disappointed by the UN Now Looks Elsewhere for Answers. And watch here.

(All times are NY)

Zelenskiy Blasts ‘Criminal’ War, Calls to End Russia Veto (12:53 p.m.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy lashed out at Russia in his first in-person address to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, calling for Moscow to be stripped of its powerful veto as one of the permanent members of the UN’s top decision-making body. 

“Veto power in the hands of the aggressor is what has pushed the UN into deadlock,” Zelenskiy told council members during a tense session, adding that it is impossible for the body to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because of Moscow’s ability to veto any effort or initiative at the Security Council.

Amid the impassioned speeches, it was admissions of the UN’s powerlessness to stop the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II that rang truer than the calls for changing the international body’s rules, something that few diplomats think is likely. 

Read more: Zelenskiy Blasts ‘Criminal’ War, Calls for Ending Russia UN Veto

EU backs expansion of carbon pricing (11:43 a.m.)

The European Union will support the creation of green bond markets in poorer countries and a reform of the international financial system to prompt low-carbon investment, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

The 27-members bloc also wants to work with the UN Secretary General and interested countries to have at least 60% of global emissions covered by carbon pricing by 2030 compared with the current 23%.

“This already brings revenue of $95 billion so just imagine we could cover 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of revenue that we would get to invest in low- and middle-income countries,” von der Leyen told the Climate Ambition Summit in New York.

Poland’s Duda Jabs at Zelenskiy (7:25 a.m.)

Polish President Andrzej Duda criticized Zelenskiy over a dispute about imported grain in comments that threaten an alliance that’s been central to Kyiv’s push to repel Russia’s invasion.

The dispute centers on Warsaw’s ban on Ukrainian grain imports a month before an election, which has driven a wedge between the wartime allies. 

“We cannot allow that Ukrainian grain is sold on the Polish market without any control,” Duda said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on the sidelines of the General Assembly. “It’s a pity our Ukrainian neighbors don’t want to understand that.”

Read more: Poland’s Duda Jabs at Zelenskiy as Once-Strong Bond Frays

Paraguay Defends Ties With Taiwan (12:35 a.m.)

Paraguay’s President Santiago Peña defended his nation’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan and held up the Asian economy’s shift from agriculture to manufacturing — particularly high-end semiconductors — as a model to follow, resisting domestic pressures to align with China instead.

Paraguay is one of only 13 countries to maintain full diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the self-ruled democracy that China claims as part of its territory. China has steadily picked off Taipei’s diplomatic allies in Latin America amid rising tensions with the US.

Read more: Paraguay’s Leader Defends Ties With Economic Role Model Taiwan

Iran’s President Criticizes US on Nuclear Deal (Tuesday)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called on the US make clear whether it wants a nuclear agreement, criticizing Washington’s track record while leaving the door open to a future deal.

Raisi said Iran had fulfilled its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. He called former President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the deal an “egregious and unilateral crime in the international arena.”

“The United States of America must explain transparently and demonstrate in a verifiable fashion that it does wish to reach a proper conclusion and show her commitment and choose a way, choose a path — either JCPOA or not,” he said.

Raisi spoke a day after Iran freed five Americans in a controversial prisoner swap. He repeated his assertion that Iran doesn’t want a nuclear weapon but has the right to a peaceful nuclear program.

China Warns Against Xinjiang Event (Tuesday)

Chinese diplomats warned all other permanent missions to the UN not to attend an event on the sidelines of the General Assembly dedicated to human rights abuses committed against ethnic Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region.

The event held Tuesday afternoon featured diplomats from the US, the European Union and Germany, and was organized by the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy institute, as well as advocacy groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

“It’s clear to all that the cosponsors are notorious anti-China organizations,” China’s permanent mission to the UN said in a letter.

Read more: China’s UN Mission Warns Against Xinjiang Event in New York 

G-7 Expects Ukraine War to Last Years (Tuesday)

The US and its allies in the Group of Seven now expect the war in Ukraine may drag on for years to come and are building that possibility into their military and financial planning.

A senior official from one European G-7 country said the war may last as much as six or seven more years and that allies need to plan financially to continue support for Kyiv for such a long conflict. G-7 officials discussed the darker outlook at a dinner on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Monday night and agreed that the conflict is likely to last for the medium or long term, a senior US State Department official told reporters Tuesday. 

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