In Cuba's first U.N. General Assembly session since the two countries renewed diplomatic relations, the White House said Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Castro. This is the second face-to-face between Obama and Castro since diplomatic relations were restored in late 2014. They also met in April at a Summit of Americas meeting in Panama and have spoken by phone.
Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications., called Castro's U.N. visit, "very significant" and "a symbol we're in a new era" of U.S.-Cuba relations.
Castro arrive in New York on Thursday to be there for Pope Francis' Friday morning U.N. address. During his time in the city, Castro plans to meet with heads of state and dignitaries. Friday, he met with several members of Congress who support the renewed relations.
Obama left Washington on Sunday morning for New York for his annual visit to the United Nations. The president is scheduled to address a meeting devoted to the U.N.'s global development agenda. Sunday night, he is expected to deliver remarks at a Democratic National Committee LGBT gala.
While at the United Nations, Obama will also meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and possibly Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss topics that include concerns about a Russian military build-up in Syria.