NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will use his speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday to make a sweeping appeal to world leaders to support Ukraine against Russian invaders , and hopes Republicans in Congress will also take note.
Biden’s speech at the annual meeting is the centerpiece of his three-day visit to New York, which will include meetings with the leaders of five Central Asian countries as well as the leaders of Israel and Brazil.
Biden, a Democrat, has made mobilizing U.S. allies to support Ukraine a key part of American foreign policy, arguing that the world must send a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that it cannot resist more forcefully than the West .
“We rallied the world to unite in support of Ukraine and NATO because at the beginning I was convinced that Putin expected that NATO would not be able to remain united and that would be necessary for victory enough,” Biden said on Monday at a campaign rally in New York.
But Biden has faced criticism from some Republicans who want the U.S. to spend less money there. Former President Donald Trump, the favorite to win the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, has argued that if elected again he would seek a quick end to the war.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in Washington, has questioned whether the United States should continue sending billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine.
In his speech, Biden plans to argue that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and occupation of the territory in February 2022 is a violation of the founding charter of the United Nations, whose founding principles include respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, U.S. officials said.
“He will make a strong case for why supporting Ukraine is really important, not just for our national security, but also for upholding the UN Charter and the idea of sovereignty and territorial integrity and what that all means,” a senior administration official said .
Another administration official said Biden and senior U.S. officials would also focus on mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development, as well as fighting climate change.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll in June, a clear majority of Americans support sending weapons to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia and believe such aid shows China and other U.S. rivals their willingness to protect interests and allies to protect the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Biden at the White House on Thursday and also meet with some members of Congress.
The United States is preparing a new military aid package for Ukraine to coincide with his visit and has asked Congress to approve billions more in security aid for the rest of the year.
“We are confident there will be cross-party support for this. I think President Zelensky is too,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
Following his speech, Biden will sit down with UN Secretary-General António Guterres to discuss the world’s trouble spots.
Later he will take part in a summit with the presidents of five Central Asian countries for the first time. These are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
On Wednesday, Biden will meet Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and join him in an event with union leaders from Brazil and the United States.
Also on Wednesday, Biden will hold his first face-to-face meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since returning to power last December.
Sullivan said they would “discuss a vision for a more stable, prosperous and integrated region and also share experiences on how to effectively counter and deter Iran.”