Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Cairo, Obama Pledges New Era of Cooperation and Respect

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Cairo, Obama Pledges New Era of Cooperation and Respect

Article excerpt

US President Barack Obama took the stage today at Cairo University to deliver a long-awaited address to the Muslim world. He pledged a new era of cooperation and mutual respect, but acknowledged to his audience that "no speech can eradicate centuries of mistrust." President Obama addressed a long list of issues, including women's rights, nuclear weapons, and the American relationship with Israel. Read the full-text here. Obama spoke for close to an hour to 3,000 invited guests in an ornate hall festooned with Egyptian and American flags. His talk was broadcast live on state-run television in order to reach a broad audience throughout the Middle East. It fulfilled a campaign promise that, if elected, Obama would travel to a major Muslim capital to address tensions in the relationship between the United States and the world's 1.4 billion Muslims. The son of a Kenyan, and raised in Muslim-majority Indonesia, the US president promised to combat negative stereotypes of Muslims while in office, a vow that drew thunderous applause. At the same time, he urged the Islamic world to meet America half way. "The cycle of suspicion and discord must end," he said. "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." He continued, "America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition." Obama underscored what he said were common principles: justice, progress, and tolerance, and pledged to build a partnership, "based on what Islam is and not on what Islam isn't." The president tackled seven larger points at the university: * The need to confront violent extremism in all of its forms. "So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity." * The Israeli- Palestinian conflict. "America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. …

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