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Obama opens UN talks with diplomatic opportunities

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Barack Obama opens meetings at the United Nations with diplomatic opportunities on three vexing issues: Iran's disputed nuclear program, Syria's chemical weapons use, and elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
   
All three pathways are fraught with potential pitfalls and hinge on cooperation from often unreliable nations.
   
Obama also risks being branded as naive and misguided if the efforts fail, particularly in Syria, where he's used the prospect of diplomacy to put off a military strike in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack.
   
Still, the recent developments mark a significant shift on a trio of issues that have long proved problematic for Obama at the United Nations. The president is due to arrive in New York Monday afternoon.
   
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