Obama seeks new beginning in ties with Muslims


Ross Colvin and David Alexander
Reuters
June 4, 2009

President Barack Obama called for a “new beginning” in relations between the United States and the Muslim world Thursday, addressing grievances over the Arab-Israeli conflict, two U.S.-led wars and tensions over Iran.

[efoods]Speaking to the world’s more than 1 billion Muslims from Cairo, Obama pledged to pursue Palestinian statehood, said U.S. troops did not want to stay in Iraq or Afghanistan forever and offered mutual respect in dealings with long-time foe, Tehran.

His keynote speech, occasionally interrupted by shouts of “we love you,” was welcomed by some for its fresh tone after George W. Bush’s departure even as others expressed frustration that he did not outline specific steps to change U.S. policy.

“We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world — tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate,” Obama said in the address that included quoting Islam’s holy book, the Koran.

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