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Can Obama improve ties with Muslims?

Barack Obama is on the European leg of his tour, after delivering a keynote speech at Cairo University on Thursday. Can he increase US engagement with the Islamic world?

In his address in Egypt, President Obama said the West and the Muslim world had to make a "sustained effort... to respect one another and seek common ground" after years of distrust.

Mr Obama has held talks in Dresden with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and will visit the former Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald. On Saturday he is in France to meet President Sarkozy.

What is your reaction to Mr Obama's speech? Will it re-energise relations with the Islamic world?

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Published: Tuesday, 2 June, 2009, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK

I think it speaks volumes that Obama is taking on this challenge now, five months into his term as opposed to Bush who waited until the end of his eight years to try to address this situation.
Obama's choice of George Mitchell as Mid East envoy is a great step, Mitchell is a former Senator from my home state and a brilliant diplomat.
The fact that Obama has ties to Islam, something that Reps. tried to use against him in the campaign, may be the ace up his sleeve that he needs.

eric h, maine

Recommended by 12 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK

Action will take time; lots of patience- more than some would wish but that's life.
R.

Ray, Canterbury

Recommended by 2 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK

Yes, he will succeed on human level.
Removing all outer layers and make-ups we all are the same.
At birth we are pure and innocent, subjects for different kind of traditions, beliefs and illusions to be implanted in our minds by different societies.
The ground is common, the target is common, only the way of execution differs.
Obama must succeed as his course is based on rationality.

Tibor TK, Neuss

Recommended by 5 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 04:52 GMT 05:52 UK

President Obama speaks like a religious leader. It is mind boggling to see so many religious leaders failed to bridge cultural gaps, denied Palestinians, and did so little to heal the wounds of many in the Middle East. Well done Mr President.

Sunny, Hong Kong

Recommended by 6 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 04:44 GMT 05:44 UK

Yesterday we actually saw a politician not ashamed to be seen as a man with strong personal convictions that are far away from the mainstream. A politician not afraid to risk his career or face ugly facts in order to change the future.

Samar Jodha, Dubai

Recommended by 13 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 04:34 GMT 05:34 UK

I think Obama is making a dramatic change considering America's relationship with Muslims. . In addition, President Obama, is the first American President to publicly show strong sympathy towards the palestinians, compared to former presidents. However, he did stress that Israel's relationship with the U.S is unbreakable, despite Israel's resistance to many of Obama's efforts for peace. Yet i do think Obama must negotiate with Hamas in order to move forward.

Amir Aboguddah, Regina

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 03:29 GMT 04:29 UK

Will Muslims allow him? I have my many hopes & doubts!

g.mc arder, Belfast & Drogheda

Recommended by 4 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 03:12 GMT 04:12 UK

Great speech. A new beginning for America so diffrent from the
Bush government!
I hope it will bring better relationship between countries and bring
peace to the middle east.

h menon, New York, United States

Recommended by 6 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 01:54 GMT 02:54 UK

Q: Can Obama improve ties with the Muslims

A: NO

Johnny The Greek, Barstow, CA USA

Recommended by 10 people

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Added: Saturday, 6 June, 2009, 01:54 GMT 02:54 UK

The public here in Egypt liked Obama, but after his speech they love him...If he ran for presidential elections here he will win! People call him President Obama, not USA President..even in the local news! I think the speech was great and | wish him luck he will need it...

Nihad Mahmoud, Cairo, Egypt

Recommended by 5 people

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Added: Friday, 5 June, 2009, 22:18 GMT 23:18 UK

Many have tried this, many have failed.

Good luck to Obama; he'll need it.

Shkiboldy Randanavitch, England

Recommended by 10 people

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Added: Friday, 5 June, 2009, 22:16 GMT 23:16 UK

Reading some of the online reactions to Obama's speech in Cairo I have seen a lot of cynicism, which I guess was to be expected. Some of it even has sound basis for argument. However, in my opinion the speech itself, besides being delivered in the impressively eloquent, open and sincere manner that Obama tends to do so well, the speech itself I think does serve in its purpose as a first step for new beginnings. I think this single speech was what was needed from a single figure of leadership.

Eduardo, Barcelona

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Added: Friday, 5 June, 2009, 22:12 GMT 23:12 UK

It was a brilliant speech from Barack Obama, but what the world wants to see from is not just words but also action. I think his foreign policy should make it clear that the US has to enmity with Islam. His administration should work persistently for peace in the Middle-east and should push both the sides for an acceptable settlement. One thing has to be kept in mind, the Palestinians' struggle for independence is a just cause and the two state solution is the only viable option.

Anonymous, Virginia

Recommended by 11 people

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Added: Friday, 5 June, 2009, 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK

Those in the West and the Muslim world who want peace need to leave the extremists (on both sides) behind and try to be more accepting of each other, despite our differences.

We also need to learn to be willing to make some compromises, and each side needs to give and take a little. Having entrenched opinions and being completely unwilling to yield some ground is what leads to arguments and violence.

Remember, when someone is killed, it is a person whom God created that is destroyed.

anon.

Recommended by 12 people

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Added: Friday, 5 June, 2009, 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK

President Obama's speech will serve as a turning point in the Middle East conflict if he imposes sanction on Israel for expanding settlements in dispute lands by stopping selling military hardwares to Israel.

Anthony Chow, Edmonton

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