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"On behalf of the American people – including Muslim communities in all fifty states – I want to extend best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem."
President Barack Obama marked the holiest month in the Muslim calendar with a reiteration of his commitment to a new beginning between America and Muslims around the world:
"This new beginning must be borne out in a sustained effort to listen to each other. … And from around the world, we have received an outpouring of feedback about how America can be a partner on behalf of people's aspirations."
President Obama said that this information is already being translated into concrete actions aimed at improving political relations, security situations and the daily lives of Muslims worldwide:
"These consultations are helping us implement the partnerships that I called for in Cairo – to expand education exchange programs; to foster entrepreneurship and create jobs; and to increase collaboration on science and technology, while supporting literacy and vocational learning."
President Obama said the U.S. is partnering with the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its member states to eradicate polio. The U.S. is also working closely with the international community to confront the H1N1 virus, which is a concern for Muslims preparing for the Hajj.
The U.S. commitment to mutual respect reaches beyond U.S. borders as well, said President Obama. He cited a responsible end to the war in Iraq and to work to isolate violent extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as issues that are of mutual interest to the U.S. and Muslims globally. He also emphasized U.S. support for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians and for human rights worldwide.
"I look forward to continuing this critically important dialogue and turning it into action," said President Obama. "May God's peace be upon you."