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Pope, Putin, Xi, Merkel, Rohani In All-Star Lineup At UN Meeting

The United Nations annual meeting starting September 25 will feature an unusually star-studded cast of speakers, including Pope Francis and the leaders of Russia, China, Iran, and Germany.

"General Assembly high-level week is always known as diplomatic speed dating, but I think this year is breaking records," said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, noting the highest number of world leaders may be attending in UN history.

The pope will address the assembly on September 25 during his first visit to the United States. And Xi Jinping, who is also in the United States for a state visit this week, will make his UN debut as China's president.

Also making rare appearances for the UN's 70th anniversary are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rohani, and Cuban leader Raul Castro.

Putin will address the assembly on September 28 and is expected to speak about Syria and the need for countries to join together to tackle terrorism.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP