Fwd: Travel pool report #4

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From: "Lee, Carol" >
Date: September 20, 2016 at 2:11:26 PM EDT
To: "Allen, Jess Jessica" >
Subject: Travel pool report #4

Most notable part of the luncheon spray: President Obama appeared to comment on the airstrike in Syria yesterday on a convoy carrying humanitarian aid, though indirectly. He paid tribute to U.N. workers, saying "Those in Syria and elsewhere who risk their lives to deliver aid to people in dire need. ... The entire world is in their debt."

Around 1:20pm world leaders began trickling into the room where the luncheon is being held: Justin Trudeau, Theresa May, Petro Poroshenko, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mauricio Macri were among those your pooler spotted.

POTUS arrived at 1:33pm, with Ban Ki Moon, Secretary Kerry and others.

He went around a couple of the tables, including the one where he is seated, and greeted everyone. But before that he ran into Mr. Poroshenko and the spoke briefly. Nothing was audible to pool.

Ban Ki Moon spoke first for about 5 minutes. He noted he and POTUS are both retiring. He said the UNGA lunch is one of the few places where so many world leaders break bread at the same time. "I will take many good memories with me," he said, then toasted to peace and prosperity.

(At 1:40pm, while Ban Ki Moon was speaking, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived. Rather than walk across the room, he slipped behind a curtain near the press risers and emerged on the other side to take his seat at a table in the back of the room. He was a bit too much out of earshot but pool heard him tell one of his seat mates "So far so good." No idea what the initial question was.)

POTUS clinked glasses with those at his table, including Ban Ki Moon, with white wine.

Then he spoke for about 4 minutes, first praising New York City for handling the security challenges of UNGA and the recent bombings. He thanked the first responders and said the city has "showed the world the true meaning of grit and resolve" over the last few days. "New York City always rises to the occasion," he said.

He then paid tribute to UN workers and Ban Ki Moon's leadership. He toasted him as the eighth secretary general of the UN and said the world is grateful to his team.

Pool was then escorted out.

As we were leaving, Mr. Lavrov was ordering a second glass of white wine.
Carol Lee
The Wall Street Journal

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