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Global Response To Cairo Address


Global Response To Cairo Address

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The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu had this comment on President Barack Obama’s address at Cairo University on June 4:

"I think the statement of the President was quite a successful statement. It aims to open a new page with the Muslim world. It was well drafted and meanwhile it has encapsulated all the ideas the President has expressed on different occasions in Ankara, Istanbul, and on Inauguration Day. And what I really appreciate [is] that he has used the main idea when he said we have to have a new partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

Secretary General Ihsanoglu said, "We're looking forward to cooperating with the American Administration to serve these common goals between the [Organization of the Islamic Conference] and the United States."

U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said audience response to the Cairo address was extremely positive. "The idea of partnership also seemed to have broad appeal," said Mr. Feltman, "that we the United States will work with others, that the United States cannot impose solutions on others" but must work through consensus and partnership.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson noted that in Africa, "the President's themes were applauded and respected. News coverage and media attention to this from South Africa up to Ethiopia and across to Abuja and Lagos, very intense and very interested."

In South and Central Asia, reactions to the speech, so far, have been positive, said Patrick Moon, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs. Many who viewed the speech "appreciated the President's desire for engagement and dialogue between the U.S. and the Muslim world," said Mr. Moon.

Vali Nasr, Special Assistant to Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, noted that the President's address was "a very important speech, and it was perceived as such not only in [the] Afghanistan-Pakistan region but across the Middle East."

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Glyn Davies said early reactions from the region were very positive. "I think it was across the region greatly appreciated that the President made a vow to speak the same truths both publicly and privately diplomatically."

The United States, said President Obama wants to overcome decades of mistrust between it and the Muslim world and "move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect."

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