US President Barack Obama is expected to touch on the crisis that has embroiled the Muslim world at an annual gathering of world leaders in New York this week.

The 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly will tackle a range of international issues, including an assessment of the Millennium Development Goals. The concurrent unrest in the Middle East would likely be a priority issue. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said he expects President Obama to address the crisis in the Muslim world at the annual session in order to “put the international situation in context and to put forward a vision of American leadership”.

A film critical of the Prophet Mohammed has ignited violent protests across Arab and Muslim countries, resulting in numerous fatalities and embassy closures. Chris Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Vietor said that Mr. Obama will “make it clear that we reject the views in the video, while also underscoring that violence is never acceptable”.

The US “will never retreat from the world; will bring justice to those who harm Americans; and will stand strongly for our democratic values abroad,” Vietor added.