US President Barack Obama has no plans next week to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani to discuss the country's disputed nuclear programme, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the White House said Friday dpa reported.
Speculation has swirled about a possible meeting as Rowhani, who took office in August, has expressed more willingness to engage with the West than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"The tone we're setting is one of openness to engagement with Iran, but the insistence that their words need to be followed by actions," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said.
He noted that Obama has consistently said he was open to bilateral talks with the Iranians.
Obama and Rowhani are both schedule to speak Tuesday at United Nations headquarters in New York.
Obama will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly for their first talks since Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed. The Tuesday meeting comes ahead of a planned White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 30.
Obama will hold meetings with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to discuss the massive influx of refugees from neighbouring Syria and with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to talk about economic initiatives in Africa and security cooperation against Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
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