U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York (Reuters)

US president Barack Obama has condemned the Islamophobic film that sparked violence across the Middle East and North Africa claiming it was "an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well".

In a speech before the General Assembly, Obama added: "There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents [and] no video that justifies an attack on an embassy."

Obama opened his speech by paying homage to Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya who was killed in a Benghazi attack along with other three Americans.

"Chris was killed in the city he helped to save," Obama said. "Chris Stevens embodies the best of America. He built bridges across the oceans. He acted with humility but stood up with dignity.

"The attacks of the last two weeks were not simply an assault on America," he stressed. "They were attacks on ideals on which the UN was founded."

Obama cited the violent protests that have targeted foreign diplomatic missions in Muslim countries around the world after a video of Innocence of Muslims was released on YouTube.

"The turmoil of recent weeks remind us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot," he said.

The US president added that Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria "must come to an end".