World leaders have gathered in New York City for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The meeting comes amid simmering tension in the Middle East over recent attacks on Saudi Arabiaplace n oil facilities, which the United States blames on Iran, allegations Tehran denies.
UNGA also comes just days after millions of young activists and their supporters marched in thousands of cities worldwide to demand greater action on climate change.
The general debate is taking from September 24 to September 30, with dozens of world leaders scheduled to address the General Assembly.
Follow the live updates:
Thursday, September 26:
President of EU Council Donald Tusk calls on global community to combat threats together
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council and one of the most high-ranking members in the European Union, called on the global community to combat threats such as climate change and armed conflict together.
Tusk also reiterated Europe’s dedication to become the world’s first carbon-neutral continent, saying that he “has no doubt that we are in an environmental emergency”.
Tusk also called on members of the UN to “stop flirting with dictators and authoritarian regimes” and that “law should above power”.
Palestinian leader Abbas criticises Netanyahu remarks on annexing Palestinian land
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticised remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the Israeli elections in which Netanyahu promised to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
“Our response if any Israeli government is to proceed [with this plan], all signed agreements with the government of the occupation will be terminated,” Abbas said at UNGA on Thursday.
“It is our right to defend our rights by all possible means regardless or consequences while remaining committed to international law and combatting terrorism,” Abbas continued.
He added that Palestine remains committed to a two-state solution, but that recent developments, including the US decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, have jeopardised a future two-state solution.
The Palestinian leader also called for the UN to be a mediator in peace talks between Palestine and Israel, adding Palestine “will not accept the sole US mediation”.
Abbas also called for Palestine, which is currently a so-called observer state to the UN, to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.
Turkish and Greek leaders discuss refugees in New York
Greece’s new conservative prime minister met Turkey’s leader for the first time and asked for cooperation in stemming an uptick in migrant and refugee arrivals.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the leaders of the historic adversaries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
“I had a frank discussion with President Erdogan on all major issues from immigration to Cyprus to bilateral matters,” Mitsotakis tweeted after the meeting.
“We agreed to work together to build a better climate for the benefit of our people and stability of the region,” he said.