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      Obama to Dine with Ahmadinejad, Morsi at U.N. Assembly in NY?

      Ban Ki-moon has invited Obama to join Ahmadinejad, Morsi at a VIP lunch on opening day of U.N. General Assembly in NY.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 8/12/2012, 8:30 AM

      Pres. Obama and Chairman Abbas
      Pres. Obama and Chairman Abbas
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at next month’s U.N. General Assembly in New York, diplomatic sources say.

      In addition, U.N. General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon has invited President Obama to join the two leaders at a VIP lunch on Sept. 25, the opening day of the General Assembly, The Washington Times reported.

      Iranian official Mohammad Reza Forqani dismissed the speculations saying, “Publishing such a report by the Washington Times daily is a media commotion,” the Fars News Agency reported.

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not attend the assembly, but will send Defense Minister Ehud Barak in his stead.

      Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to pursue statehood recognition when he addresses the assembly on Sept. 29. Though not a member of the U.N., Abbas is being treated as an unofficial leader of a de facto state.

      British Prime Minister David Cameron, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, South African President Jacob Zuma are also expected to attend, according to a list obtained by The Washington Times.

      According to the report, notable absentees include Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao, both of whom have vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions for stronger action against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

      Pakistani President Ali Zadari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai also will not attend the assembly.