People dressed as Syria's President Assad and Iran's President Ahmedinijad outside the UN
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Middle East dominates UN Assembly

27 September 2012 Last updated at 07:02 BST

The Middle East has dominated the first day of the UN General Assembly, with Syria and the stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians high on the agenda.

Iran's President Ahmedinijad came under fire for Tehran's nuclear programme, its threats against Israel and its alliance with the Syrian government.

Meanwhile, in the first speech by a democratically elected Egyptian leader, President Mohammed Morsi said the Palestinian claim for statehood was the defining Arab issue.

Barbara Plett reports from the United Nations in New York.